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A Question of Taste
What food comforts you the most when you're sick with the flu?
Could This Fortune Come True?
Worried? Who's worried?
After two hours of trying to figure out various advertising revenue programs associated with my blog and attempting to make sure I set them up correctly -- all the while trying with no success to get a real person on the phone with Google AdSense -- I finally dragged my husband into my computer hell. I had to step away for a while, dry my eyes and release some of my computer-caused frustration with a vigorous 1-hour workout.
Mark had gone out to get Chinese food for our sick son. We always like Chinese food when we're sick. When I'm sick, that's the only time I don't mind eating Chinese food. My Methodist husband married the only Jewish woman who hates Chinese Food. I'm the only person in my family that hates Chinese cuisine. Japanese, Thai, Korean; all good. Just not Chinese food. Tastes too greasy.
He also picked up a pizza for our daughter who won't eat more than about eight different types of foods; pizza and cheese burgers are at the top of her list. Strangely enough, she also loves black olives, but only the sliced olives in a can.
Eventually, he left for work and got to escape my anxiety-ridden world. He also left a handful of fortune cookies on the counter. I carefully chose the cookie that had the opening of the folds facing me. Years ago, a Chinese restaurant owner told me that's the lucky way to choose a fortune cookie and I figured it can't hurt to try.
"Don't worry; prosperity will knock on your door soon." That's what it read and I had to laugh. Maybe that was the universe's way of telling me I had correctly set up all this blog stuff and it's supposed to make me money. Money like Heather Armstrong's blog, dooce.com.
"You should be writing a blog, Joelle. You could be making so much money with your writing," I was told recently by my real shrink -- my hair stylist, Sheila. "I was watching this woman on Oprah and she said she brings in $40,000 every month in ad revenue from her blog."
"Shit. You're kidding. What does she write about?"
"About her family and dogs. Just normal stuff," explained Sheila.
Her suggestion got my mind thinking about her idea. Hey, why not throw one more thing on the pile. Next thing I know, I'm at home with my freshly-styled hair (the one day every six to seven weeks it looks its best and I find an excuse to go on extra errands hoping someone will throw a compliment my way -- how pathetic is that!), sitting in front of my computer and researching how to start a blog.
My husband was especially supportive when he heard the potential dollar amount and found out Heather's husband got to quit his job and help out with their family business, now run out of their home. Mark would love to quit his high-stress job directing television news and be a stay-at-home dad. What the hell; he's already won two EMMYs. Okay, yes, I'm showing off my hubby a little. Shh, just don't tell him. I wouldn't want him to get any ideas of grandeur.
Likely, Mark would prove a better parenting role model to our children than I have been. Besides, he actually pays attention to them when they say they are hungry for this meal or that snack. He doesn't have to be dragged away from the computer or tell the kids to see what's in the fridge and forage for food.
Restaurant Recommendations N-E-1?
If there were no restaurants, I'd likely starve
Having been raised on restaurants because none of us kids or our dad wanted to suffer through my mom's cooking -- especially liver and onions night (ooh, shivers!) -- it's actually a big deal when I plan far enough ahead to make a real dinner that doesn't include boxes of frozen foods, etc. Don't judge me. I can make really good caramel corn and potato latkes.
No, not together, but I do make them exceptionally well. My son's friends ask for my latkes on a regular basis when they stay over for sleepovers. Oh, and Sophie loves my baked Salmon. I have no idea why this is the one unusual stinky food she'll eat. Our son eats everything; started eating spicy salsa when he was only 2 years old.
Anyway, following suit with the women in my family, I found a man who enjoys cooking and cleaning. Well, dad doesn't like the cleaning part, but he always made yummy "breakfast for dinner" items up until recently when he became too unsteady on his feet and mom is worried he'll start a fire in the kitchen.
We're good at starting fires in our kitchens. My sister once caused a mushroom cloud to erupt in our kitchen during an attempt at frying homemade potato chips. Mom burns most everything she cooks and I'm famous for melting pots. I bet you didn't think it was possible to burn water. Still, the best turkey I ever made was my first attempt at Thanksgiving Dinner; the bird caught on fire in the oven. Regardless, it had a nice smoky taste and a yummy, crispy skin with all the extra salt I threw over the bird to extinguish the fire. Hey, that was better than my husband's idea to use the fire extinguisher we always keep handy in the corner of the kitchen.
My grandpa was a good cook, too. Additionally, you couldn't take your hand off a glass after setting it down, otherwise grandpa would grab it and put it in the dish washer. (Mark does the same thing; it drives me nuts.) I don't remember my grandma ever really cooking. Grandma and the rest of my family was used to going out for meals and Mark has become accustomed to this habit also (as have are our children). Still, being from the south, he takes his barbecue very seriously. He regularly makes us gourmet meals out in the back yard or when we go camping, planning out our various feasts days prior.
Just like my mom did when I was just a girl, I generally question my kids at around 5, 5:30 p.m. about what they'd like to eat for dinner. Sometimes I may even purchase dinner items by 4 p.m. (generally forgetting at least one ingredient). That's a really good day. I guess that's why my husband calls me from work around 7 p.m. most evenings and asks, "Have you fed the kids yet?" Or if he's in a passive aggressive mood, he'll ask, "What did you have for dinner tonight?"
With my husband's cooking skills, we'd all be happier if he could stay home and cook and help with the family business. Did I mention, we also call him "laundry boy" because he enjoys doing the laundry? Where the hell did I find this guy?
Can't afford a chef? Try these more afordable options
So now, looking at this cookie fortune that tells me not to worry only a few days before my big tit and TRAM surgery, perhaps this will be the fortune that comes true. (Become my fan and you'll help me achieve this goal) Or -- you knew there had to be an "or" with my always positive mindset -- maybe the fortune was meant for my husband and the knock on the door will be the life insurance guy offering Mark a big check when my surgery tanks. Did I mention I'm a tad anxious?
If the fortune is meant for me, with my growing income, I can:
- Reduce my husband's stress to a manageable level during which he only has to deal with his crazy wife;
- Become a happier human being knowing that my writing really isn't just crap and I can earn an income using my skill;
- Show my kids that I wasn't always a stay-at-home mom and I used to make a nice income as a newspaper writer. Okay, so not a nice income. Let's face it; you don't become a newspaper reporter because of the money. And truth be told, the flunkies at McDonald's were making a few cents an hour less than I was and probably had better benefits (I fully expect to get shit for calling employees at MickyD's "flunkies," but if you can't remember if I said small or large, you do the math);
- Prove to my parents I'm not wasting my master's in Journalism from Stanford University. (Nope. Nothing pithy. I just want to somehow make mommy and daddy proud and not end up a complete fuckup. If you haven't figured it out yet, writers tend to have a lot of insecurities about their work);
- Hire a cook and a house cleaner because I'm just so fucking bad at both; oh, and
- Hire Sheila, my hair stylist/shrink, to make my hair look fabulous every time I leave the house, boosting my self-image.
In the interim, until that time when prosperity knocks... wait, I'll be back in a sec. Someone really did just knock on my door. No kidding...
I'm back... Nope, it wasn't prosperity. Just the bug guy who is spraying the yard for ants.
Why I desperately need a housekeeper
"Hey, mom. Look at this."
Anyway, until prosperity really does knock and I can hire a private chef, I'm going to download the KFC grilled chicken 2-piece meal coupon on Oprah's website and eventually feed my kids.
I'm not sure today is the day I will hear prosperity knocking. A while ago, after hearing from my dad that my mom had been rushed to the hospital with shortness of breath and tightening in her chest (they gave her six nitros), I got off the phone and heard a "bang, tumble, thump! AHHH!"
"What happened?" I called out as I rushed through the house to reach the source of the screaming and crying. It was Sophie. She had lightly twisted her ankle on the steps, banged against the wall (luckily, not smacking her head into the rod-iron railing) and tumbled down to the bottom. Only two steps, but traumatic for an 8-year-old, nonetheless.
Speaking in her sobbing-child-language, it was difficult to interpret what had happened until she calmed down. She explained. She was okay. She could move her foot and nothing was swelling or bleeding. No visits to the local ER.
Mom, on the other hand, they are keeping overnight for observation. Unfortunately, we were told to stay away because Jesse is home sick with the flu. No, not swine flu; just the flu.