Archive | May, 2010

Kitchen Shenanigans.

27 May

Have I mentioned that my employers have a kitchen appliance disease? It seems that they attract the most terrible appliances, and have bizarre problems with them. Por ejemplo: The dishwasher. “Quick Wash” has a cycle time that shows as 28 minutes. Okay, that’s pretty quick. But it counts down to 1 minute remaining, and stays that way for 2 hours. No, I’m not exaggerating this time. Um, what else. The coffee pot pours all over the counter when you try to pour a cup, no matter how slowly you pour. The microwave caught fire for no particular reason one day, and had to be replaced. The dryer takes at least 2 (most of the time 3) cycles to dry clothes, even if you set it on “heavy duty.” The oven is secretly a monster that I’m convinced is alive, and as long as it’s actually cooking something, works fine, but then when it stops & you turn it off, it starts beeping. Incessantly. And no matter what you do, it won’t stop until you flip the breaker.

All of these things, combined with the aforementioned constant disarray of their kitchen, make today’s story what it is.

Julie’s parents are coming into town tomorrow, and I offered to make some pasta salad & a chocolate cake for their arrival. I love to bake & cook, so this seemed like a good idea, considering that Jackson naps for hours on end.

I decided that my plan of action would be to start the cake, then make the pasta salad, and then make the icing/ice the cake after finishing the pasta salad. I got all of the ingredients out for the cake, and realized that I had only 2 of the 3 required eggs for the recipe.

This is ironic for several reasons, theΒ  main being that Julie doesn’t check the items in her kitchen before she sends me to the grocery store. This morning, I had already gone to the grocery, but eggs weren’t on the list, so I didn’t buy them. I did, however, buy whole wheat rotini, frozen waffles, and butter of which there now are 5, 4, and 8 boxes/sticks, respectively.

In lieu of the missing egg, I planned to put a mixture of water, oil, & baking powder (a substitute I found online). When I went to measure out the tea & tablespoons needed, I found that they have 1 small measuring cup. That’s all. No teaspoons, no 1/2, 1/3, 1/4 anything. (Also, unless I’m crazy- they don’t have a colander. How on earth do you drain pasta with no colander?!) I measured with an actual TABLE spoon that you put on the TABLE, and continued.

Soon, it was time to mix the ingredients together. I went to the drawer where I know she keeps the beater attachments, and found 4 of them, 1 larger set, and 1 smaller set. Then I set out to find the mixing handle/mechanism. I checked the close cabinets, the far ones, the top ones, the low ones…. it was no where to be found. I continued my search, assuming that they didn’t have it (who’d be surprised?!), when I located it- sitting on the tea saucers of their fine china (again, who’s surprised?). Then, to my utter shock (sarcasm), when I went to fit the beaters into it, I found that the set that fit was the set of which one of the beaters was broken.

So, I beat the cake ingredients together by hand, and then, ALSO made homemade icing for the cake, somehow managing to beat an entire box of powdered sugar down into 1 stick of butter and a little buttermilk, with only a whisk. I have to say, I’m pretty proud of that feat.

Now, the dry cleaning is sent off, 2 loads of laundry are done, the dishes are clean and put away, and there’s a beautiful cake, a yummy looking pasta salad, a clean kitchen, and a happy baby. All in a day’s work.

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No one asked, but I’m going to tell you it’s bullshit.

21 May

I read an article in the paper this morning, and I’m enraged.

“Though she has long wanted to be an Army doctor, Sara Isaacson says she also wants to live an honest life. So on Jan. 25, the UNC-Chapel Hill ROTC cadet handed her commander a written statement revealing that she is a lesbian. Doing so ended her military career and will likely cost her more than $79,000. That’s what she owes the federal government, which was paying for her UNC-CH schooling.”

The policy was originally known as the 1982 Department of Defense Directive 1332.14, but was replaced by the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy under Bill Clinton in 1993. Apparently, the government has dismissed 13,500 people under this policy since 1994.Β  (Raleigh News & Observer)

I am absolutely appalled. I’ve been doing research on this policy, trying to figure out the reasoning behind it. The original Separation Policy is supposed to help “maintain the high standards of conduct and performance” by giving an “orderly means” to dismiss people under the circumstances that they don’t meet the standards. It is also supposed to “maintain standards of performance and conduct through characterization of service in a system that emphasizes the importance of honorable service,” but it gives no specific idea as to why this relates to homosexuality.Β  (1982 Department of Defense Directive 1332.14)

Bill Clinton tried to repeal this Defense Directive in 1993, but was met by strong opposition, which is why he introduced the compromise of the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy. However, it doesn’t seem like much of a compromise. This is the reasoning it gives for the government’s right to dismiss homosexual members:

THE PRESENCE IN THE ARMED FORCES OF PERSONS WHO DEMONSTRATE A PROPENSITY OR INTENT TO ENGAGE IN HOMOSEXUAL ACTS WOULD CREATE AN UNACCEPTABLE RISK TO THE HIGH STANDARDS OF MORALE, GOOD ORDER AND DISCIPLINE, AND UNIT COHESION THAT ARE THE ESSENCE OF MILITARY CAPABILITY. (http://psychology.ucdavis.edu/rainbow/html/dontasklaw.html.)

I’m not sure how you could characterize kicking people out of serving their country on the grounds of their sexual orientation as part of a system that “emphasizes the importance of honorable service.” There’s nothing honorable about that. Who decided that homosexuality is opposed to good order and discipline? I would argue that by causing people to lie about their lives and preventing them from listing their partners as their first of kin, the military itself disturbs the “Unit Cohesion” (which, if you’re wondering, is defined as “the bonds of trust between individual service members that makes the combat effectiveness of a military unit greater than the sum of the combat effectiveness of the individual unit members.”). How can you expect men and women to give their lives and possibly die for an institution that doesn’t recognize them as “orderly and disciplined” people? And how do the military units establish bonds of trust, when some members aren’t allowed to reveal their true identities?

Before they even join, the military defines homosexuals (& bisexuals, FYI) as an “unnacceptable risk,” yet says, “but if you don’t tell us, what we don’t know won’t hurt us.” Is that not a contradiction? If you don’t know that a person is gay, they are perfectly acceptable, and are capable of meeting all the requirements for military service. But the second they come out, they are unfit?

This is preposterous. Something must be done. I’m looking into ways to get involved. I don’t support this kind of bullshit.

Photo of the Day:

19 May

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Look at those cute little feet!! πŸ™‚