Monday, September 20, 2010

Things that creep me out...

I'm not afraid of spiders. They don't bother me - although they can be kind of tickly on bare skin - and their webs are beautiful. Arachnaphobia is something I've never understood. Snakes don't bug me much, either. Bears? More scared of me than I of them. Likewise wolves. So what do I worry about when I'm out walking my dog? Finding a body. A dead, decaying, corpse. Or a fresh one. Either way, the idea freaks me out. And unlike the attack of the killer spider (seriously, how often have you heard of THAT happening in Canada?), dog walkers find dead bodies all the time. It's a disgusting fact of life, but a) dog walkers are out in the same kind of sideroad/brush/field/forested/watery areas that appeal to killers who need to dump bodies and b) dogs just love to roll in dead stuff.

Granted, I am a writer, and I do have an active imagination. Still, you can imagine where my mind went when I ran into this lovely find this afternoon....

Monday, September 13, 2010

Some Things are Worth the Time...

I was back at school officially for seven work days, only four of which I had to teach, and already I have come down with a brutal head cold. Sore throat, plugged ears, painful sinuses (sini? what's the plural there?), the whole works.

I don't even feel like reading. Which, for me, means I'm pretty messed up. And I ended up watching more television this weekend than I normally would for this time of year, when the weather is still okay and I am busy with back to work stuff and the new shows aren't on yet anyway.

And over and over, I kept seeing this stupid commercial for mashed potatoes. Except they aren't actually mashed yet. They are just potatoes. And they have their own commercial.

Because, according to the ad, "who has time to make mashed potatoes?"

Umm, I would think pretty much anyone who can figure out that a ten pound bag of potatoes for $2.49 is a much better deal than one bowl of potatoes for $2.99 on sale with a coupon (yes, I just Googled a grocery store flyer to make sure my facts were correct).

I'm not naming the product, because I don't want to get in trouble for my disparaging attitude, but their name implies purity of product. And the ingredients list says potatoes and sodium phosphate (whose first definition FYI is "used as a laxative to cleanse the bowels"). Mmmm. Yummy.

The rationale for this product is that nobody has time for all the washing, peeling and cutting. By purchasing the new kind "home-made" potatoes and simply adding your own ingredients after you've steamed them in the microwave, you can mash them yourself.

Honestly, I thinkn it would slow down my dinner preparations MORE to find the bag in the freezer and microwave it than to rinse four potatoes, peel them, and drop them into a pot of water. but apparently I've been doing it wrong all these years, because I don't scrub vigorously when i know I'm peeling. And I don't do a bunch of cutting when i know I'm mashing. Silly me.

We all have places where we cut corners. I do love "no boil" lasagna noodles, because I can't detect a difference, and they save a couple of major steps. And pancake mix that just needs water probably has a lot of weird ingredients, but can be pretty awesome when you are camping and don't want to waste cooler space on milk, eggs, and oil.

Other things, to me, are worth spending extra time on. Like homemade macaroni and cheese. Or hanging my laundry outside: it smells better, the fabric lasts longer, I use less energy, and it gets me outside at least a couple of times, even on days when I'm doing housework. Still<> And maybe the real reason they are so pressed for time is that instead of putting a roast in the slowecooker or oven ahead of time (total prep time if you add a half cup of water: 2 minutes) and boiling their potatoes on the stove top, they're waiting for the microwave to finish one dish so they can put the second one in before running out to get a payday loan because their roast beef dinner cost $15.00 without leftovers instead of $9.99 with enough left over for another dinner and a couple of lunches.

it's almost enough to make me wish I was teaching math again. Someone has to.