Oh, The Frustration of it All……

Living the student life means that lots of life’s pleasures have to be postponed, canceled, or removed from the daily agenda. We do it willingly, although sometimes grudgingly. One of the simple joys of our lives is cooking and eating good food, accompanied by good wine. We enjoy the “mis en place”, searching for just the right bottle(s) of wine, and the eating of our labor.

Alas, the realities have greatly reduced our opportunities for this pleasure.

So, it was with great enthusiasm that we, having found a few extra dollars, decided to prepare a meal, using our favorite cookbook, The Wine Lover’s Cookbook, a book that introduced us to good food, good wine, and the pairings that made the meal a complete experience.

Here’s the recipe:


If you follow the link, you’ll see the directions for a delicious sauce that is the key component of the meal. We love to do sauces…….

The meal was achieving critical mass….the sauteed green beans with garlic were resting in their saute pan, crunchy but flavorful, while the sweet potatoes, baked tender and then mashed in a saucepan, where they were married with a dash of nutmeg, a pinch of sage, and a dollop of butter, all combining to form a delicious starch component (yet healthy), together awaited the two small filets that had been cooked perfectly on the grill and allowed to rest for 5 minutes.

The plating was underway, the elements arranged artfully, when your scribe reached for the piece de resistance, the sauce Diana. In a moment of unguarded stupidity, I put down one saucepan which landed on the handle of my pan, full of the delicious sauce, causing the pan and the sauce to flip up, off the stove, and tumble artlessly to the kitchen floor. In a split-second, 60 minutes of loving labor coated our kitchen floor with a patina that smelled like a corner of France but looked like the Bee’s Ferry landfill.

It literally took my breath away. A meal that we had been anticipating for too long was gone, ruined by this chef’s maladroit handling of pots and pans.

Oh, the shame of it………


A spot of bad news for Christmas, via NewsMax. I’d stop the kiddies of a certain age from reading any further. A sliver of the report:

According to the Chinese defense ministry, Santa’s sleigh was being escorted by J-8 fighters from Hainan Island. The Chinese government characterized the fighter escorts as a precaution against Santa’s “aggressive acts that endanger lives.”

The tension over the shoot down of Santa Claus caps a year of drama between the North Pole and Beijing. Beijing denied the shoot-down occurred because of the failing trade ties between the world’s biggest provider of Christmas gifts and the largest manufacturer of toys.

The toy ban is not the only incident between China and the North Pole.

China also came into conflict with the elves in the past few months. Elf union representatives met this past year with members of the Chinese labor force in order to inspect mainland factories for human rights violations.

This is bad, folks!

H/T The Weekly Standard.

The Battle of Cutlery Pod

For reasons more clearly outlined here and here, posting has been light. With luck, more hard work, and the hoped-for implementation of statistical curving, your scribe might yet make it through this period of extreme stress. Yet, as is surely the case for many other couples in similar circumstances, the daily flow of domestic life, like the local tides, continues unabated.

That is to say, the sharing of domestic responsibilities continues relentlessly. The need for extra study time, brief periods of self-pity, stress induced neurotic moments, none of these episodes are deemed worthy of a respite from my "responsibilities". No slack is forthcoming from the wife. No pity is to be found.

Recently, perhaps because my humanist side has been, to an extent, supplanted by an objective, quantifiable aspect, I determined that I was wasting time emptying the dishwasher due to the random placement of cutlery in the cutlery holder (the pod). Thinking that I had found a technique which would save valuable seconds in my hectic schedule, I happily shared the discovery with my beloved. Her expression, accompanied by a rolling of her baby-blues, indicated a complete lack of enthusiasm for my discovery.

And so it began. My duties include cleaning up after supper. I implemented the cutlery assignment plan, with great effect, I thought. However, since I am not in charge of breakfast cleanup, cutlery was randomly placed in the pod by the other half. Although the chaos in the pod was reduced, maximum effectiveness was not achieved. Gentle entreaties have so far not yielded the desire solution. Diplomacy has, yet again, failed. Heeding Clausewitz, who said: "war is nothing but a duel [or wrestling match, a better translation of the German Zweikampf] on a larger scale.", our wrestling match has ensued. So far, there is no clear winner. In fact, one might say that we are in the siege stage of this conflict.

This is the kind of battle that is measured in weeks, if not months. It requires planning, commitment, and the implementation of engineering skills to erect the weapons to batter the walls of wifely certitude. As other husbands, I suspect, will agree, this will be a mighty struggle.

Stay tuned.

PS – tactical insights from veterans of similar conflicts would be appreciated.

Continue reading “The Battle of Cutlery Pod”

Terrible News!

This is bad news. I am well and truly addicted to coffee, and will suffer the headache to end all headaches if caffeine is withheld. This news sounds as if the lift I seek early each morning is merely the suppression of withdrawal symptoms. This is worse than rebound congestion, another monkey I carry around. Stop the merry-go round…..I want to get off!

Continue reading “Terrible News!”