Pickles and Potatoes

10:30 and I'm not asleep. Instead, I'm nauseated, my back aches, and - here comes the TMI - isn't it the best when you get up and head for the sofa, worried that your groans are keeping up the already long-suffering husband, and - sudden hard left! - it's into the bathroom for the violent diarrhea?

Three excursions later, and I just have to have some dill pickles. Mmm mmm pickles. I crave brine. Lick-lick-lick. All the while I'm thinking, "You are living the stereotype. Fat people have so little self-control, they can be on the verge of hurling and still have the wherewithal for a snack. Beautiful."

It made me think that someday I ought to make a list of Things People Assume That Fat People Do then compare it with Things This Fat Person Actually Does. Except apparently I'm totally busted on the "can want to hurl and eat at the same time" one. (Okay, I really think my body wanted the salty juice because it was unwell, but let's not spoil the LOLFATTIES vibe.)

Well, almost an hour passes and I'm feeling better, but now I want potatoes. So I nuke up a couple of baby spuds. And in the course of this, I break the plate, which was already cracked and is a long story but not the story. (There is no story; I just can't sleep.) We have all kinds of ugly free dishware from the casinos (given out to celebrate Mexican Independence Day, if that shapes the imagination at all), but I prefer my Six Perfect Pieces. Which are now Four.

See, when I first moved to this apartment, everything was going to be lovely. Decorated. I sold or gave away my non-sentimental Texas stuff and was ready to begin again. I decided, without even watching the Food Network, to start anew with some plain white dishware. (Previous to this it was Blue Willow supermarket giveaway stuff stacked to the top of the cupboard. Of course, now I miss it because my mom collected it for me with glee, but that's life - you never know what you're going to miss.)

I bought two white soup bowls and two white pasta plates. Not having a table or barstools (and my increasingly Igor-like form is not much for barstools anymore), regular plates were too unwieldy. Something with a bit of depth and lip but not an actual bowl would suit better.

That's four pieces. The other two pieces are a pair of large mugs from Anthropologie. I drink hot chocolate from them about once a year, but - frankly - they're messy to maneuver. Mike sometimes uses them to hold salsa, but then I just yell about how they are My Pretty Mugs for Scenic and Thoughtful Occasions, and can't he put The Stupid Salsa in something else? Like the Mexican Independence Day Chip 'n Dip Platter? People!

Okay, then one day I was taking one of the nice white bowls from the microwave and dropped it on my foot. My hamster Sherman (oh, who doesn't miss that crumbcatcher?), whilst on a free-range scurry, attacked the scab from the injury, and now I have a scar there. A scar, but no replacement bowl, because I'm lazy. And cheap. And also because I feel bad because these nice white dishes were made in China, and next time I should try harder to buy American. (I mean the part of America that isn't deeply in debt to China.) Or Canadian. Something less sweatshoppy. But, of course, I haven't gotten around to that. Impasse.

That left us with two pasta plates and a bowl. (Again, we continue to ignore not only the Mexican Independence Day Commemorative Crapware, but the two large white plates that Mike bought because he thought the pasta plates were too dainty. I was very against the plates, perhaps because eating from full-size plates while sitting on the sofa is too close to "Things People Assume That Fat People Do," and every time we talk about getting a table it sort of devolves into a mental wad of "when will we find a proper computer stand instead of using those horrid boxes," "why not convert the drafting table and add a couple of chairs," and "Christalmighty, how did we end up with so many mismatched shades of wood in this small apartment? Why even try to have nice things?" I cannot even get into how Mike, despite coming from solid citizen stock, claims to have never eaten meals at home at a table. Barbarian Aussies - that's my charitable mind whirling. Anyway, Mike got his plates, I say "Jesus Christ" whenever he totes one over to the sofa, but at least the plates are white to match the other pieces. And also to symbolize my tendency to throw everything into stasis when I can't make a decision meant to last through the ages. That Blue Willow looked great when I got it, but white is safer. Anything is still possible with white.)

One of those pasta plates, though, eventually got a crack in it. This was even before I hurled a bowl (full of the most gorgeous curry) at my foot. Not safe, I know, and that's why Mr. Meat Eater never ate out of it. Because eggs, cheese, beans, etc. don't carry bacteria, right? Um... yeah, I won't eat in my workplace because it's full of cockroaches/ants/etc., but I'll take every meal from a cracked pasta plate and insist that any trapped food-based creepies surviving the dishwasher are part of my character-building regime. I know.

That's the plate I broke tonight. (I set it down too hard when it was hot from the microwave. It was just its time.) I went my entire life without breaking a dish, and now I've broken two. Of course, the other two white dishes are holding Mike's stuff in the fridge or are dirty, as are the unacknowledged white plates, as is half of the not-that-kind-of-Fiestaware. (The man has only recently accepted the philosophy of not getting a fresh glass every time he pours a drink.) Which meant that I had to go into the This Isn't Cute Anymore Cupboard of Casino Gifts and get out another orange/red/yeller-striped plate and eat my potatoes from that. I've put another one of those things into circulation in the kitchen. It was that or the Christmas-themed casinoware. Too soon.

Suffice to say that at this point I feel very sorry for myself. I almost put the little potatoes in one of the Archaeology mugs, but that takes more stylish juxtaposition than I can pull off.

So, really, this is where we are at: two dishes in the house that I find acceptable for either of us to use. It's at times like this when I'm not sure how much of the stick up my tushie is fun caricature and how much is pitiful OCD.

Which leads us to my First World Problem du Jour: where can I find study, pretty-but-simple, white pasta and soup bowls that are not made in China (et al), are available in town (where I can look at them), and are inexpensive? Not just relatively inexpensive, but actually a bargain, because it's not like we don't have plates, and any household design budget really should be spent on Sorting Out the Table Issue. (Although the most recent time the SOtT issue was addressed, we nearly gave up and bought a house, almost as a do-over. The house was on a street called "Candy Bouquet," not far from another street called "Bella Sparkle." I don't think I would've been happy in such a Blue Willowy environment.)

The China thing is proving to be the dealbreaker. Clearly more research (wheee!) is necessary.

Also necessary, I think, is for me to call for a sub, as it's now nearly 1 a.m. and I still feel cruddy. However, I have a parent conference in the morning. I asked a student to come see me. S/he said, "No." I repeated my request. S/he ignored me. Things were tense. I felt like I had to write him/her up for insubordination. (Sure, a third request might have saved the day, but when do you stop?) S/he was kept out of school for a couple of days until his/her parent signed him/her in. (Standard policy.) At this time, a conference with me for a couple of weeks later was set up. I don't know who set it up. If it was the parent, well, that's just how these things go. If it was someone else, someone with an itchy "let's have a big conference about it even though everything that needs to be said was said" finger... Grumble.

Unfortunately, I still have nothing to say beyond what I just said. Despite the daily directive from the principal over the PA system to obey all teachers, s/he refused to obey me. I hate to be a wowser about it, but s/he put me in a difficult position. And I like the student, although s/he slacks off. I guess I can come in early and repeat to the parent what happened. (Early because the conferences start at the same time as contract time.) The student and I seem to be just fine now, but, whatever. At least the parent cares, right? *chipper face here*

Or, given the late hour and the amount of rolling around my stomach is doing, and the number of (heretofore unreported, because I care) potty trips surrounding this post, I can be selfish and call for the sub. I hate to stand up a parent, but life happens. (Hey, I've been stood up for most parent conferences.) I also hate to miss what should be a productive and stress-free day (at least until 6th period, depending upon who is absent).

Harumph. I don't know. Perhaps the broken white (pasta) plate is a metaphor. Or... maybe I should just buy some white paper plates.

28 October 2009 |



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