Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Don't take this quiz

Jeff and I took a couples quiz. It was very silly. Some highlights. (Jeff has not been invited to comment in red on my answers about him as I do. This is not a democracy.)

1. What is your spouse’s favourite...?

My answers about Jeff:

Non-alcoholic drink -- milk (he said his favorite was coffee. Then I said, but I said milk. And he said, oh yeah. OK, you get a point for that.)
Television show – beauty and the geek
Flavour of ice cream -- chocolate (I was wrong. Apparently it's Coffee Heath Bar by Ben and Jerry's.)
Baldwin brother – he totally doesn’t even know who the baldwins are
Non-verbal way of conveying displeasure with you – falling asleep

Jeff's answers about me:

Non-alcoholic drink -- tea (ummm...coffee?)
Television show – America's Next Top Model
Flavour of ice cream -- plain chocolate (he's always teasing me about liking things plain. I thought he would faint from embarrassment when I ordered plain cheesecake at the 40-flavor extravaganza that is the Cheesecake Factory.)
Baldwin brother – William (is this a Baldwin brother?)
Non-verbal way of conveying displeasure with you – slamming doors (meeee?)

15. If you walked into a multiplex where the following films were playing, which would your spouse go to see first?

  1. The Godfather
  2. Caddyshack
  3. The English Patient
  4. Caddyshack II
My answer about Jeff:

Jeff's answer about me:

16. If your spouse were lost while driving in a foreign city, he/she would most likely:
  1. Pretend not to be lost
  2. Stop and ask for directions
  3. Stop and buy a map
  4. Find a way to blame you
My answer about Jeff: 3
Jeff's answer about me: 4 (He totally picked this! I am in shock, considering the soothing clucking sounds, lullabies, chocolates, and backrubs that I always give when we are lost, even when it's because if he had just turned back there we would not be in this situation my mother was right about him)

17. If presented with the following options, which would your spouse select?

My answers about Jeff:

Aisle or window AISLE
Toilet seat left up or down UP
Latte or espresso LATTE
A shopping spree at Canadian Tire or Victoria’s Secret THE APPLE STORE
Dog or cat
An evening spent in the company of family or old university pals in a pub watching reruns of Seinfeld, drinking every time Jerry says “Newman” COMPANY OF FAMILY
Minivan with round and square cup holders or sports car with spoiler and tinted glass HE HATES DRIVING, THE CHEAPER AND MORE FUEL EFFICIENT THE BETTER

Jeff's answers about me:

Aisle or window AISLE
Toilet seat left up or down DOWN
Leno or Letterman LENO
Latte or espresso LATTE (wrong! Everyone knows I only drink Americano!)
A shopping spree at Canadian Tire or Victoria’s Secret VICTORIA'S SECRET (Pretty sure he picked this by process of elimination)
Dog or cat CAT
The West Wing or Elimidate WEST WING (What's Elimidate?)
An evening spent in the company of family or old university pals in a pub watching reruns of Seinfeld, drinking every time Jerry says “Newman” UNIVERSITY PALS
Minivan with round and square cup holders or sports car with spoiler and tinted glass MINIVAN (I can't believe he said minivan)

Very silly.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

I fooled them

"Impostor syndrome can be defined as a collection of feelings of inadequacy that persist even in face of information that indicates that the opposite is true. It is experienced internally as chronic self-doubt, and feelings of intellectual fraudulence.

It is basically feeling that you are not really a successful, competent, and smart student, that you are only posing as such.

Some common feelings and thoughts that might characterize the impostor syndrome are: “I feel like a fake” “My classmates/professors etc. are going to find out I don’t really belong here,” “Admissions made a mistake”


I successfully defended my dissertation today. Most importantly, this was my outfit (except I had brown pants. And no earrings. And heels! Imagine! I didn't even trip). Seriously, wouldn't you have passed me? It was grand--a full house, cookies, good questions.

Now for some serious wall-staring. Short sentences that don't cite any authoritative source. Playing with trucks and blocks. I totally did it.

Friday, April 18, 2008

April is Grilled Cheese Month

Who knew? April is National Grilled Cheese Month. There is even a grilled cheese blog. In humble recognition of this great celebration, here is a guest post by my dear friend at Bouclee. Don't you want to come to my house? Yummmmmmmmm.

Things I learned from Nora #2

As I said in my last guest post, Nora has taught me many things. She has already told you a lot about herself here, but you probably don’t know that she makes the best grilled-cheese sandwiches in the universe… (She’s humble like that).

Now, don’t think that I didn’t know about grilled-cheese sandwiches… In our house, they were for days when the fridge was empty (which didn’t happen often) or when my parents were busy and us kids had to fend for ourselves (like the Wimbledon finals). They were a last resort. My mother kept some Kraft Singles in the fridge for those occasions. Kraft Singles were for grilled-cheese sandwiches and cheeseburgers on the grill in the summer. You can imagine it was a good thing they kept for a long time… Later, my grilled-cheese sandwich experience extended to what I could find in hospital cafeterias. Not the height of gastronomy…

Nora’s grilled-cheese sandwiches are in another league entirely. I hope she forgives me for giving away her secrets, but here are a few crucial elements to making the best grilled-cheese sandwich that I learned from her:

  1. Start with good cheese…

Some good strong cheddar, sliced about 1/8” thick, is perfect. I suspect other cheeses might work well too.

  1. A cast iron pan

Nora gave me one of those for my birthday, so I can make my own now… It has to do with heat distribution, I think.

  1. A deep pot lid to cover the sandwich

The lid has to be deep enough to cover the sandwich without smooshing it. Keeping the heat low and the lid on enables the cheese to melt while the bread stays golden.

  1. People to share it with…

I know it sounds corny, but it’s true. Part of the reason I like Nora’s sandwiches so much is that it makes me feel like I’m part of their family life... Well, I won’t have that in my kitchen with my new cast iron pan when I make my own sandwiches. But every time, I’ll think of Nora, Jeff, and their little Bubba and our Saturday lunches. (Word of advice: don’t try to give Bubba a regular piece of bread when he can have some grilled cheese goodness, he knows the difference…with good reason too!)

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

You didn't miss much

Post ideas I let go by in the last few weeks while blog-dieting:

Phase I: In which Nora is high on sparkling intellectual energy--her brain a well-oiled machine--and thinks it would be charming to make every random thing sound like a dissertation chapter:

Post idea: The role of narrator in I Love Trucks compared to Policeman Small: Our changing understanding of male toddler obsession with large machines

Post idea: Stall choice of women in public restrooms when someone is or is not in one of the stalls already: analysis of three-, four-, and five- stall ladies' rooms

Phase II: In which Nora's stress level climbs and every random thing becomes a metaphor for her failure as a human being:

Post idea: The emotionally unavailable barista sees Nora's ID badge and asks her the meaning of her name. She is flustered at this sudden attention so answers too loudly and confusingly ("I don't know, oh wait! It's like the same root as Eleanor! Like honor, get it? Ho-NOR? NOR-a? I think. There may be other meanings though."). Nora feels terribly guilty for questioning the barista's emotional availability--see, she is a terrible person--despite the barista's eye roll at her bizarre answer she thinks the relationship has taken a new turn and now every morning at the espresso bar will begin with a bright "Hi, Nora!" She is wrong. She is a real regular now, thanks to all those long hours, and the barista doesn't question her drink anymore. But she has also been reminded that her own dissertation crapola is not nearly as bad as what the barista's brother went through. So she has kept things in perspective. Thank heavens for that--I mean, she could be doing, like, a HARD dissertation or something.

Post idea: Then Nora makes a shoo fly pie to take to a party. It is terrible, burnt on the outside and raw in the center. She must throw the whole thing in the trash, and is devastated. A failure as a baker and as a poser Pennsylvania Dutchess. She can't even bring herself to photograph the thing for her blog. Again, proof of her real worth. Swears never to cook again. Pities her husband and child who must endure a lifetime of bad baking. "The pie will jiggle a little when you take it out of the oven. This is normal, and the pie will set as it cools." Whatever.

Phase III: In which Nora gets gray hair, even paler skin (she prefers "alabaster"), worse vision, something suspiciously like carpal tunnel in her hands, relies too heavily on the grilled cheese genre for feeding her male toddler and generally isn't too fun to be around. Because anyone who gets too close must deal with sudden outbursts of what if her professors HATE her draft? What if they FAIL her? What then???? WHAT THEN??

Post idea: [blinks slowly]

Post idea: Hey, guess what? I met Bossy last night as she swept through on her Excellent Road Trip. I was a latecomer to joining in her adventure, but she didn't make me sit at the end of the table or anything. So cool. So human. And because it's all about me, I am in the photo of the evening on her blog! Awesome fun was had by all, some seriously cool women with blogs around town. A treat.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Easing back in

Hey, look what I made!

"Partial fulfillment"--understatement of the year. Whatever. Jeepers, that took longer than I thought. And it's not even over yet, but at least I can breathe a little bit now. So while my brain recovers I'll ease back in here with showing you some eye candy. The spoon era is past, and Bubba is on to the Little People. Love him.