Friday, November 28, 2008

The gals and I went to the swamp this morning. (Sarah slept in, and deservedly so. For yesterday's culinary bonanza, she'd cooked ten distinct dishes, a number all the more dazzling considering we only had five people at the table, two of whom were children and one of whom had just come from a previous feast.) It was gray, drizzly, and very very quiet. All in all, rather lovely.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Thought bubble contents courtesy of Sarah—a sort of domestic Cartoon Caption Contest, if you will. (They can steal my ideas, I can steal theirs.) Happy holidays. Gobble gobble.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

What?!-ermelon Sandwiches

Have you ever heard of a watermelon sandwich? Me neither, until the other day when I met a lady who claimed to be quite fond of them—just bread, watermelon, and a pinch of salt. That's even weirder than my mom's banana-and-mayonnaise sandwiches.

What weird sandwiches have you encountered?*

* Sandwiches seem to be one of those open-ended food formats where culinary idiosyncrasies and embellishments can really flourish.

Monday, November 24, 2008

I barely cracked my sketchbook for three months. Now, to honor the return of doodling, let's have a series of random doodle-posts. First up, Ms. Patterns-'n'-Stripes-'n'-Clunky-Shoes.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Give It Back

The New Yorker stole my joke (twice). My joke. Mine. Give it back, Mr. New Yorker Man. (I'm emotionally traumatized and spoiling for a fight.)*

* It's not the first time a major entertainment outlet has poached on my humor-territory. For years I joked about a new product concept: thong diapers. Then I saw a mock-commercial for exactly such a product on Saturday Night Live. They're in my head!

Bathing, whistling.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Adios, Mr. O (At Least For Now)

I spent a ridiculously long time trying to compose this post. I crafted lengthy post-mortems and detailed analyses. But I think I'll keep it simple.*

I'm not teaching anymore.

I expected teaching to be really really hard, but I also expected it to go well. It didn't. I could list a thousand reasons: I was grossly undertrained, the kids were wild, I was too nice... But as time passed, it became clear: it just wasn't working.

And so, I find myself back in the civilian world** battered, bruised, and exhausted. I'm deeply disappointed—I had great hopes. And I confess, I'm also relieved. Teaching is extremely hard even when it's going well. When it's going badly, it's miserable.

My brief time in the schools has left an indelible impression. I already miss those crazy kids, even if they ran me ragged. And I may return to teaching. I don't know. (I'm postponing any long-term career decisions until after the PTSD tremors subside.) I regret that it didn't work out, but I don't regret trying.

Life is a funny business. At least I'll have more time for blogging.

* Perhaps I'll wax analytical at a later date.

** My interim post-Mister-O incarnation: part-time computer geek (it's a sad statement about our national priorities that part-time geekery pays the same as way-more-than-full-time fingers-to-the-bone teachery), part-time Mr. Mom (during the brutal hours of trying to teach other people's kids, I didn't see nearly enough of my own), and part-time head-scratcher, trying to figure out what's next after this unforeseen turn of events (and of course, part-time dilettante aesthete, gleefully plunging back into all of my woefully neglected hobbies).

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Play With Your Food

Sarah was out of town over the weekend, and Sunday morning, as a surprise, the girls made me breakfast in bed. The menu consisted of bread with peanut butter, two chocolate chips, and two cornichons—an eclectic assemblage of ingredients, no doubt, but well chosen if one's primary ambition is to make papa's breakfast look like a smiley face:

The bread with peanut butter is supposed to be hair, just in case that wasn't clear.

All in all, quite tasty (though the cornichons juice ran into the chocolate chips and gave them a slight vinegary tinge).

Saturday, November 15, 2008

It turned clear and cool today, good cooking weather. (Chicken and sausage gumbo, early stages.)

Monday, November 10, 2008

Up in the Air

After the storm, many homeowners decided to jack up their houses, maybe five or six feet, high enough to avoid (God help us) future flooding. But a neighbor down the street has decided to take the practice (quite literally) to another level:

Holy bejeezus! What is that, fifteen... sixteen feet? (For a sense of scale, compare it to the stop sign on the corner.) Remarkable. What are they planning for? "Let all the ice caps melt! Bring on the hurricanes—two, three, four at a time! I'll be high and dry in my dainty* bungalow in the sky. Mwah, ha, ha!"

It takes all sorts.

* It's not a big house, and it's epic elevation is all the more jarring in contrast to its otherwise modest dimensions.

Monday, November 03, 2008

Halloween 2008

The sugar-frenzied evening as captured in pictures:

Angel and Cleopatra

Padmé, Mary, Cleopatra

On the hunt

Sorting through the loot