Multiplicity

Our router broke and it’s taking three days to get a new one. Meanwhile, no wireless at home.

AHAHAHAH I KNOW. WHAT.

Today I was getting so desperate that I contemplated going to Coffee Culture and eating cake while exploiting their free wifi so that I could make this post and work on SECRET PROJECT. However, today I thoroughly munted my left latissimus dorsi and I am not putting a bra on again until five minutes before I walk to work tomorrow.

It turns out I can upload to WordPress from my phone. Oh brave new world, that has such functions in it, and yet we still can’t get a new router until tomorrow, WHAT.

HERE have some scattered non Food Bag images from the week.

Black legs red boots sleeping bag coat

I took a lot of bus stop leg selfies this week. This was on Wednesday, right before I got on the bus to go to the Nerd Degree podcast recording for July, wherein I said a lot of stuff about Star Trek that may not have been entirely, when viewed from a strictly essentialist position, true.

Let it not be said that MC Andrew Todd doesn’t know how to dress for the occasion:

Captain Andrew

On Thursday morning I tried to put sunscreen on my face, as recommended by all sensible women’s magazines, and there was a slight mishap:

Sunscreen no

On Monday there was a surprise M&M in my bed:

Surprise m&m

In Sunday I had planned to eat brunch, then look at art. Brunch was disappointing:

Disappointing brunch

When the hostess asked me how the meal had been, I, cheeks heated with the embarrassment of my own gall, told her the hollandaise had lacked tang. (Actually, it lacked any flavour beyond “yellow”, but I was trying to be usefully specific.)

Today I renamed my constant, ever-updating to-do list, in honor of the dearly departed The Toast:

Too witches to worry

On Saturday evening I marked the last of a pile at Orleans, by candlelight, with a glass of wine:

Marking in style

And Saturday’s breakfast was an enormous omelette. I feel Nadia would have been proud:

Omelette

These fragments I have shored against my ruins

When I was a kid, Dad would often, come Friday, look at the contents of the fridge, and declare it a “Bits and Pieces dinner”, which meant he’d scrounge up everything with some vestige of nutritional content that required minimal effort and throw it on a plate.

We loved Bits and Pieces dinner! It was the best time! Sometimes we got chicken nuggets!

It took me embarrassingly far into adulthood to realise that this wasn’t a special treat for our benefit, but the decision of a man, exhausted by a week’s work teaching kids, who was utterly unwilling to put effort into putting together a real meal for yet more kids who wouldn’t appreciate it nearly as much as a poached egg and some carrot sticks.

My palate has evolved a (very) little bit, but I share my father’s attitude to the end of the week. Or, in this case, Thursday, where I taught all morning, and had parent interviews all afternoon and evening. It took me perceptibly longer to walk home, bones weighted down.

On Thursday night, there was no way I was making the mandated Hickory Pulled Pork Tacos with Radish Coleslaw. With the aid of the Fruit Box, I made Bits and Pieces:

bites and pieces

Martini non-optional.

It would have taken about two minutes more to grate the carrot and chop the apple and pear into bits, cube the cheese, and toss that all together with some balsamic vinegar and the last dribble of my good olive oil. That would have made a delicious salad, and a great picture.

I super wasn’t interested in that two minutes. Frankly, it’s astonishing I had the energy to hack off slices of harvarti instead of gnawing bites straight off the block. I ate most of a carrot stick and bit that pear, not because I forgot to take the picture first, but because waiting another five seconds to eat would have been totally unbearable.

I balanced the hummus tub on top and took the plate back to my room. This was a poor decision:

sad hummus

The carpet’s disgusting anyway, but I did resignedly pause long enough to wipe the garlic chickpeas off the heater and scrub vaguely at the carpet. Then I had “dinner”. It was awesome.

For breakfast, I’ve been adding fruit to my usual peanut butter and toast sandwich. Friday morning was grapefruit.

grapefruit is sour

Grapefruit is gross. No more grapefruit, except in cocktails, which I should definitely have saved this for.

Last weekend I only did about three or four hours of school work, which means that I have a lot of planning and marking to do this weekend.

so much marking

Happy Saturday!

But, I could brighten the day by making tacos! Never a bad plan.

Thursday: Saturday: Hickory Pulled Pork Tacos with Radish Coleslaw

pulled pork taco ingredients

The pulled pork was pre-cooked (and pre-pulled!) in a wee vacuum-sealed bag.

I finely diced half an onion and grated half an apple and set them to fry.

frying onion and apple

apple matchsticks

I was to put the rest of the onion and apple in the coleslaw, only – hold onto your seats – CUT UP DIFFERENTLY. I’ve never tried to cut apples into “matchsticks” before. Nadia is clearly obsessed with matchsticks. I’m happy to indulge her unless I’m really hungry and don’t feel like screwing around. I also have vague concerns that she might be an arsonist, especially after she encouraged me to set my lamb on fire.

pulled pork in pan

I don’t mean to be indelicate, but this pulled pork looks like post-dinner.

lined up to make

I love this part of making tacos. It looks so organised and clear!

tacos with picture

There. Actually, by the time I ate, they were getting cold, and the hickory sauce wasn’t spiced to my satisfaction. But a perfectly acceptable lunch (and in two minutes, dinner) on a working Saturday.

The pleasures of competency

On Tuesday I had my observation lesson, where I 1) started a poetry unit I had lately conceived as “Love in Winter” 2) tried a new activity I had never attempted before, much less with this particular group and 3) watched a group of students who are on the whole disinclined to poetry nevertheless manage to recreate one of the greatest poems of the language with style, sympathy, and something that approached enthusiasm.

(I gave them all lines from Edna St Vincent’s Millay’s “What lips my lips have kissed”, and had them illustrate the image of their particular line. Working as a class, they arranged the lines/images in what order they thought they went. THEN, and only then, did we discuss what the poem “meant”. This was all much more successful than it had a right to be.)

After classes finished, I presented at the department meeting on why teaching speculative fiction is an excellent idea and entered a plea for more works by spec-fic creators of colour in the school bookroom. This was received with approval and applause. It was a good day to come home, triumphant and tired, and assemble my second My Food Bag meal.


Tuesday: Chicken with Creamy Mushrooms.

Ingredients

I’m familiar with all of these flavours, and thus felt more free to experiment. I immediately decided to include a SECRET INGREDIENT.

First, Nadia had me “dice pumpkin, 1-2 cm”

badly diced pumpkin

Enh, close enough. I set that to roasting.

Nadia then wanted me to slice my chicken breasts into steaks, and I had OBJECTIONS.

Nadia, one NEVER cuts the meat before the veges are all cut, because if one does that, one has to wash and dry the wretched cutting board and knife! And then be forced to do it all again at the end of the meal! I am willing to work for my supper, Nadia, but not TWICE.

Awash with righteousness, I hacked the ends off beans, diced onion, hacked unconvincingly at parsley and sliced mushrooms.

cut the vegetables FIRST

Then I flattened my palm on top of raw chicken (ew) and employed due care in slicing the breast in half.

successful chicken steaks

NO THUMBS LOST THIS DAY!

Fried the chicken, wrapped it in foil to rest, stuck the pan back on the heat, and added the SECRET INGREDIENT:

BACON

Bacon. Nnnnngh. After that it was a doddle. I chucked the mushrooms and onion in, added stock and sour cream, stirred until satisfied, and preened at how close the result was to the picture.

chicken and creamy mushrooms just like the picture

(ish)

Tender chicken, juicy beans, smoky, salty creamy mushroom sauce. I’d make this again any day.

But I will never cut the meat before the veges.

What lips my lips have kissed, and where, and why,
I have forgotten, and what arms have lain
Under my head till morning; but the rain
Is full of ghosts tonight, that tap and sigh
Upon the glass and listen for reply,
And in my heart there stirs a quiet pain
For unremembered lads that not again
Will turn to me at midnight with a cry.

Thus in the winter stands the lonely tree,
Nor knows what birds have vanished one by one,
Yet knows its boughs more silent than before:
I cannot say what loves have come and gone,
I only know that summer sang in me
A little while, that in me sings no more.

— EDNA ST. VINCENT MILLAY