Thursday, June 8, 2017

Appetizer math

"If we have ten people over, we'll need FIVE shrimp rings."

"Let's just not have ten people over."

Wednesday, June 7, 2017

This is why brownies are never brought into the office in the original serving pan.

How to make brownies, by H.:

1. Get home from work, immediately turn on oven and start assembling ingredients for tomorrow's baking contest. Decide dinner will be finished sample. Allow self to be pleased at superior problem-solving skills on reducing kitchen mess.

2. Hmm, recipe says to use flour. I don't have flour but I do have pancake mix. That's basically the same thing, right?

3. Put down whisk mid-stir, swipe phone and open FitBit app to see if stirring batter added any extra steps.

4. In moment of brilliance, decide to invent brownie crisps. Spread thin sliver of batter across pan and bake. Fantasize about owning bakery and then conglomerate and then going on Undercover Boss and gift-paying hardworking staff's tuition like the CEO lady from Cinnabon.

5. Forget to check timer. Decide that batch was *meant* to be well-done.

6. A proper cook must taste the outcome to decide whether the results are suitable. Of course.

7. Results are suitable. Cook two more pans.

8. Realize too late that although the brownies look and taste acceptable, they cannot be removed from pan. Major fail for bakery business. Scoop heaps of crumbling squares into tin and try to arrange attractively. Fantasize about burning bakery down.

9. Embrace concept of imperfection. Taste another sample to ensure quality control.

10. Done! Resist urge to label the suggested serving size as a fistful. Check FitBit to see how many steps it took to take all those pans out of the oven. Workout is done. Eat dinner. Multi-tasking win!

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Dr. Google and the slide towards imminent death (and wrong diagnosis)

Somehow I have a big lump in an unmentionable place. It's south of the border, small and round and sore, almost like a tiny tumor. I have been worrying about it ever since its discovery. It's definitely not supposed to be there.

Definitely a sign of imminent death.

Or an STD.

But I haven't seen any new penises since I was last tested for STDs, ages ago.

I turned to Dr Google who exclaims, in full pictorial horror, that "Bartholin's Gland Cysts" happens to old people so I've just confirmed that it's part of the inevitable slide towards my demise.

I texted my sister, next, a nurse. She tried to reassure me. "It's common."

"How long do they last?"



I waited until my cubicle neighbors left for their coffee break and called my gynecologist for an appointment. "I have a lump down there" I said as three people marched back into the office. Fuck! Of all the days not to take the usual twenty minutes.

A few hours later, I found myself in stirrups, wide open, dignity back in the waiting room.

Doc grabbed her magnifying glass.

"Oh I could see why you thought it was a Bartholin's gland cyst -- it's right near there. But no, it's just a big pimple. An infected follicle gland. You're fine."

A zit?? You're kidding me.

I went home and lanced it over the sink. I don't recommend this at home but I will just say yoga classes come in handy in the most unexpected ways..

Thursday, April 13, 2017

"Sorry your mom died several months ago, here's some strawberries." <-- what my condolence note may as well have said.

Today I was looking over my credit card statement and noticed a charge for "Linus & Gwen*, sweet treats, $48" for 2 days ago.

Hmm, I remember taking one of my favorite teenagers to get ice cream but I didn't think Baskin Robbins had a parent company, and I didn't think we spent almost 50 bucks. Who's Linus & Gwen?

I scrolled a bit and saw the ice cream charge confirming indeed, it was not that.

Where else did I go Tuesday? How could I have purchased almost $50 of sweets two days ago and not remember it? And where are the treats?! If I bought something delectable, there's zero evidence of it. I haven't gone foodshopping in nearly two weeks. There's NOTHING to eat in this house. I had to satisfy both my hunger and my sweet tooth last night with a vitamin D pill. There is no way I bought any goodies two days ago. Even if I had, $48 is an odd number. Occasional treats are usually only obtained in single servings.

It was such a mystery I called the store.

"Hi, I'm looking over my credit card statement and I see a charge from your company, can you tell me more?"

"Sure! What's your telephone number? I'll look up your order."

I gave her all my info and she said, "yep, okay, it says here you ordered a dozen chocolate-covered strawberries."

Me: "What? When? Is this a subscription? I mean, I remember placing an order a few months ago but nothing recent."

Them: "Oh this order was placed Feb. 11, for delivery to your friends. It includes a condolence note."

Me: "OHMYGOD wait... you mean THIS is the order that was supposed to go to my friends after their MOM died? Why is it only going out now?"

Them: [cough] "Um, it's not going out now... it's scheduled to go out in two weeks. But that must be why the charge is appearing now."

Me [after checking my credit card statements to make sure I didn't pay for duplicate orders]: "I did NOT realize this wouldn't go out for months. Why didn't I get a note? Why wasn't there something that indicated the delay?"

Them: "There should have been..."

Me: "Well, I'm checking my email and my spam filter and everything and don't see it. If there is a notification, it needs to happen at the time of the order and be more obvious. I can't imagine how I would have glossed over that."

Them: "Sorry. Hey, we have white chocolate truffles on sale for 42% off, would you like to order some?"

Me: [Wanting to say "AYFKM, what, so I can have it in 3 months??"]

Anyway I told the woman I wasn't trying to be a difficult customer, but this was a pretty big deal. My gift was supposed to express sympathy after a loss. I didn't want to send JUST a card which so I sent something sweet. Meanwhile, as far as my friends knew, I never even acknowledged their mother's death. Also, I sent something to everyone else in the family (from another company) making the omission even more obvious. So no, I'm not buying white chocolate truffles!

I eventually talked to a customer service supervisor who apologized profusely and reimbursed shipping (yay?). But wow, the next time people die and I need to acknowledge it, no strawberries!

*Name changed to protect the company's privacy.

Sunday, March 26, 2017

Favorite rejection lines from TV

1. "I'm sorry, but the fact that the sexual pleasure Center of your cerebral cortex has been overstimulated by spirochetes is a poor basis for a relationship." House, MD

2. "I'm sorry but I can't date because I'm changing into another species." Star Trek

Monday, March 6, 2017

Sausage Party

I saw this in the store the other day and OMG this is a real thing?? It's a movie? I thought friends made this up! I chuckled when invited to a sausage party potluck some years ago. I had to cut a picnic date short and cheerfully told my date (now my husband), "Sorry I have to go, I'm due at a sausage party tonight."

No wonder he looked at me like that. Ha!! It was only our second date. I'm so glad there was a third.

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Friend explains why he doesn't want to be a counselor

Here's me as a couples therapist:

Wife: He never pays attention to me. He always goes golfing.

Husband: She never wants to have sex. She's always complaining.

Me: [gunshot to head]

Wife: You should call an ambulance.

Husband: Stop bossing me around.