January 2008


Bumper sticker on a rusted out pickup truck:

>I like explosives<

Okay, then.  Let me just give you a little extra room there.  Uh, does the Dept. of Homeland Security know about you?  Here’s hoping your some kind of blasting engineer . . .

So, I was a little disappointed when we got the first set of cheeses of the month (not just one, but three!) because a couple of them were stuff I’d had before.  For me, half the point was to try something NEW and DIFFERENT.  But, I will hold off on resignation in the hopes that they are easing into the cheese world gently in case any recipients are cheese newbies.

Grana Padano is the one cheese I got this time that I had not had before.  It is very similar to Parmigiano Reggiano.  According to the flyer that came with the cheese it’s “fruity overtones . . evoke pineapple or strawberry, depending on the season.”  Maybe it’s because its winter, but I wasn’t tasting it.  But, it does taste yummy.  I’d say it’s a little bit softer than parmesan, so its easier to slice for a sandwich or for melting on something.    Several slices make a nice contrast to a mesclun salad with balsamic dressing.

The particular ‘brand’ of Grana Padano I had was Stravecchio Oro Del Tempo, in which each wheel is “branded with a unique serial number.”  This step is apparently supposed to reassure you as to the strict testing to ensure that only the best cheese becomes “prime Grana Padano Stravecchio”, but to me it just sounds like souped-up PR talk.   

That said, it is definitely good cheese, but I’m not sure it’s different enough from Parmagiano to be worth going to a speciality cheese shop as opposed to picking up what’s available at the local supermarket.

I will report on the other January cheeses in the coming weeks.  Please, for my sake (and yours) let’s hope the February cheeses are a little more inspiring.

Some of the big problems out there seem too overwhelming to address on this little blog.  And there are blogs that address them really well and have been doing it for a while.  So I feel only a tiny bit of guilt over blogging about a minor irritant I had as a result from the latest ‘newsletter’ from my congressman.

We received a newsletter addressed to “The (mr.jolt’s last name) Family.”  WTF?  I’m on the tax rolls, buddy!  I vote!  And not under mr.jolt’s last name, under mine!

Now, I didn’t vote for you, and don’t plan to, but then neither did mr. jolt.

So, I decided to point out their antiquated ‘head of household’ approach to the congressman’s local office.  Unfortunately, the person who answered the phone was very polite, made a note to the ‘file’, and said they would do their best to make sure it doesn’t happen again.

Don’t you hate it when you want to have a fun mini-rant at someone and they deflate you by being reasonable?  So irritating.

Part of me would love to adopt my late stepfather’s habit of being a crank, writing in to the local newspaper, etc. on a regular basis.  My stepfather so assidously wrote to the local editor in our hometown to note basic errors of spelling and grammar that they invited him in to give a talk to their editorial staff (probably just to shut him up, but, he was also a professional writer and a damn good one).    I think when I retire, I will assume ‘ feminist crankiness’ as my hobby/’job’  — until then, there is simply not enough time in the day to assume such an overwhelming task.

When he was two, BB had a bad fall at the playground – we were still in the city and instead of mulch they have those funky semi-squishy “pads” underneath the equipment.  They aren’t all that cushiony if you ask me, but they’re better than pavement.  Anyhow, he knocked out a bottom tooth & chipped a top tooth and had to go to the ER to make sure he didn’t have a concussion.

Partly as a result of the chip, the top tooth started to go bad, as well as the one next to it.  So when he was 2.5, he had to undergo general anesthesia to, in essence, put crowns on his front two teeth.*  Because they were baby teeth, they didn’t bother to make them super pretty.  So they were metal backed with a thin white veneer on the front, but you could see the metal fairly easily unless you were smack in front of him.  Needless to say,  I think the metal detracts from what is otherwise one of the best smiles on the planet.

Last night, however, BB and I discovered that one of these ‘fake’ teeth is loose.  Hurrah!  BB is thrilled because he is one of the last kids in his class to lose a first tooth (and he was quick to inform me of the amounts that his classmates received from the tooth fairy).  I’m thrilled because I can’t wait for him to have nicer teeth (let’s just hope BB keeps these for a very, very long time – if only mr. jolt will stop suggesting hockey).

*The general anesthesia is what the pediatric dentist recommended because he was way too little for novacain, etc.  The outpatient place where they did it was great and had us in for a tour before the big day so BB wouldn’t be scared of his surroundings. 

While I was spending a lot more time at home lately due to the holiday last Monday, a parent-teacher conference day on Tuesday (no school), and my own and my younger son’s illnesses, I have learned many new and, uh, interesting things:

1) To prevent monsters or other bad guys from coming into your room at night, if monster spray is not effective or fails to give you adequate piece of mind, a stern warning stating “GOOD GISE OWNLY”  taped to the top of the stairs will prevent all evildoers from reaching the bedrooms.

2) If, after taking a sip of decaf latte, you erroneously grab a cup of light lemonade and sip that, the flavor combination will convince your tastebuds that you have, in fact, taken a bite of raw hot dog.  Really. 

3) Any story ending with references to underpants is a guaranteed winner with the under 7 crowd.  

Posting will hopefully resume next week.  Both LB and I have strep so I promise I’m not having fun without you.  Poor little guy has hives all over his body.

Back soon . . .

Consider this post a respite from endless political punditry and the like:

I actually think its better if you minimize and just listen. 

For all the crimes committed in the so-called name of God, you have to admit God’s inspired a lot of sublime music, in every form you can think of.

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