Wednesday, August 31, 2011

My Life as an Only Child

I'm an only child.  When I tell people that, I get some canned responses:

"Oh, you must be spoiled."
"Were you lonely with no one to play with?"
"I hear that only children are really creative."

Well, well, well.  Let me address these:
Not necessarily.

I was a honeymoon baby.  My parents weren't financially ready for a child but certainly made do.  They lived in an apartment that didn't allow children (can't do THAT anymore) so when my Grandma bought a duplex, we moved in and rented the downstairs.  My Grandma was my "daycare" and it was great.  She also cooked our meals as both my parents worked full time and my Mom was a pretty bad cook (I'm not saying anything she wouldn't have agreed with!).

Designer = Grandma. Dang, I was CUTE!
Spoiled?  Since my parents really didn't have a lot of money, I was NOT spoiled.  I did not want for anything but I didn't get a lot of extras.  Many of my clothes were homemade (by my Grandma). 

I had toys and games but a lot of those came from garage sales.  If I asked for something for my birthday or Christmas, I only got it if my parents could afford it.  I might hear that "Santa didn't have time to make that." or something similar.  I can't remember ever being disappointed.

Lonely?  Nope, not one bit.  I was outside all the time.  In those days, kids played outside.  I'd hang with the neighborhood kids and we'd play "Army" and "Cops and Robbers."  If the weather was bad, we'd go inside and play Monopoly, Life, or Sorry.

Creative?  Not me.  I can barely draw a stick man let alone paint or sculpt or design anything.  I have a hard time coming up with a dinner menu, let alone something artistic!  If you look up "creative" in the dictionary, my picture is shown as an antonym.  You'll have a hard time finding anyone less creative then me.  Being creative as a kid consisted of riding my bike if I couldn't think of anything to do.

I do have to admit something though (I have mentioned this before).  I do not share well.  Actually, I hate to share.  I'll do it, but reluctantly.  Even with Angry.  He's the best husband ever but if we are down to the last candy bar, I want the whole thing.  That's a side effect of being an only child.  I didn't have to share then; I don't wanna do it now!!  I will share the broccoli though!!

Did I hate being an only child?  No way!  I loved it.  I had my parents to myself.  I didn't have to fight anyone for the last piece of dessert.  I didn't have to share my bedroom with anyone.  I didn't have to share the phone with anyone as a teenager (I'm sure my parents would have liked to have used it once and a while though).  I didn't have a sister stealing my clothes or shoes.  I didn't have to call shotgun when going on a car ride.  I learned early on how to start a conversation at a party.

Only child = cool in my book.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

FOOD, FOOD, GLORIOUS FOOD (and some shopping too)!

Since I told you what I wanted to eat at the State Fair, I guess I should tell you what I actually tried.
I went twice.  Spent 14 hours with my BFF, Weezy, on opening day and then Angry and went after work one night and noshed our way through some more goodies.

Day one, in order of “tastings”:
Deep Fried Pickles – While this wasn’t on my list of things to try, both Weezy and I really like these things!  We decided that this was a healthy option as pickles are technically vegetables.  Right?
It's a veggie. It's healthy!

Chocolate Covered Fritos – These were good but a little strange.  I’m a fan of sweet and salty but Fritos have a “spice” on them that was kind of weird with the chocolate.  I’ll stick to chocolate covered pretzels for that type of taste.
Chocolate and Fritos. Next big thing for people with the munchies?

Deep Fried Bacon with Country Gravy – This was really good! The bacon was super crispy.  I could have done without the gravy though as it didn’t do anything to the bacon.

Lordy, bacon is better than it was before!

Deep Fired Butter – These were small dough balls filled will melted butter (about a teaspoon in each?).  They also had powdered sugar on them.  I was very lucky because Weezy tried the first one.  It basically exploded, sending butter everywhere.  Luckily, she only got butter on her hands and arms and not on her clothes.  I learned from her how NOT to eat them.  We both said, at first, that they were pretty good.  About an hour later, we decided they were kinda' gross.  Why the change of heart?  I’m not sure.
Is there a magical surprise in there?
A puddle of butter. Maybe just a little gross?

Chocolate Covered Bacon – This is served cold so the chocolate can harden and cover the bacon.  I didn’t like it.  The cold strips of fat in the bacon were the turn off.

Bacon makes everything better EXCEPT chocolate. Fact.

Cookie Dough Fondue – Also something not on my original list but it looked good so we tried it.  We didn’t share these as we wanted different flavors.  You got a cold “glob” of cookie dough on a stick dipped in a "fondue" and sprinkled with a topping.  I picked toffee cookie dough dipped in caramel with coconut topping.  It tasted pretty good (and the cold dough on a hot day was a treat) but my choices made it too sweet to finish.
Cookie dough made better by science. Food science that is.

Tropical Fruit Tempura – This is another healthy option because it's fruit.  Don't laugh.  I think I got one that was sitting under the heat lamp too long.  My tempura batter was only slightly warm and the fruit was mushy.  It tasted OK but I think I could have given it an “I love it” rating if it had been fresh out of the fryer.

Cold batter + mushy fruit = just OK (but healthy because it's fruit!).

Swiss Cheese in Rye – We killed two birds with one stone here.  Deep fried cheese that was also on a stick.  A big hunk of Swiss cheese surrounded by rye batter and fried.  All I can say is, “YUMMY!”
This is pure genius!

Cream Puff – Our State Fair is known for their cream puffs.  It’s a “must do” when you are there.  At this point, Weezy and I had pretty much had our fill of goodies.  We decided to split a puff and that worked out great.  These are really good as they are made fresh constantly.  It was the perfect way to top off our food filled day.
World famous Cream Puff from the WI State Fair!

Day two, in order of “tastings”:
Deep Fried Beer – These were like raviolis filled with beer.  The ravioli dough was “blah” and the beer was warm (of course it was, they just deep fried the damn things).  Not sure why they added the cheese.  I’m glad I tried but would skip this next time.
What the hell is with the crappy cheese?

Fried Oysters – A “just because I like oysters” thing for me.  Plus, they were on a stick!  Angry wanted to try the deep fried bacon so I went with this.  They were fresh and yummy.

Fried ocean goodness!

Maple Bacon Sundae – Vanilla ice cream with bacon and maple syrup.  I wasn’t too sure I’d like this but it was really good.  The cold bacon fat was not an issue because the bacon was chopped so you didn’t “notice” the fatty parts.  A good mix of sweet and salty.

Bacon makes almost everything better (see above for the one exception).

Elvis – Not the real Elvis!  These were deep fried peanut butter cups in banana batter (on a stick too!).  I LOVE peanut butter cups and I love bananas.  This was actually pretty darn good.  The peanut butter and chocolate was at a perfect melting point and the batter had just the right amount of banana flavor.
Oh. my. god.

Pulled Pork Sandwich – We felt we needed something “real” that wasn’t candy, cheese, or deep fried.  This hit the spot and was a great size to share.  The pork was infused with IPA beer; beer is good.  
Real food?

Deep Fried Peanut Butter and Jelly – I’m a huge fan of warm, melty peanut butter.  This was really good.  They didn’t get carried away with the jelly either as there was just enough to give it a slightly sweet taste.
PB&J made better by a deep fryer.

Spaghetti and Meatballs on a Stick – While this was pretty generic, we had to try it.  How do ya get noodles on a stick you might ask.  How about IN the meatballs?  The meat didn’t have much seasoning and the sauce was sort of like Ragu but it was worth a try to see how it was done.
Where's the noodles?

Here they are! Packed into the meatball.

Swiss Cheese in Rye (again) – I liked this so much that I told Angry we should have needed it.  He didn’t argue and agreed that it was awesome.  You are not getting another picture.  It looked exactly the same!  Exactly.

Cream Puff (again) – Well, you can’t go to the Fair and miss the cream puffs.  Angry and I were in the same "we already ate too much" boat so we shared.  A nice treat to end the night.

I think we got more cream in this one!

So, what crap did I get suckered into buying?

Mr. Sticky – HEY! Get your mind out of the gutter!  This removes pet hair and crumbs.  I got cats. I got crumbs. I now have a Mr. Sticky.  So far, I like it.
This is not an adult toy.

Sweep Express – This is a rubber broom.  It does not do what its name implies.  Sweeping is still time consuming.  I already own one of these but the bristles are “mushing” together.  I needed a new one.  I talked Weezy into one so we could get the Mega Pack.
Doesn't really make sweeping an "express" job.

Saw -  Sorry, this thing doesn't have a fancy schmancy name.  It's just a garden saw.  Angry and I need this for the back yard.  That’s what the sales guy said.  I like the looks of it and hope I don’t cut myself.  If I do, you’ll know about it as soon as I’m able to type again.

This thing will cut a small tree with ease! Or, maybe my hand.

Now I have a year to think about what crazy food and shopping items they may come up with next!

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

You are rude.

I was at my doctor’s office the other day.  They wanted to draw some blood so I traveled a few floors down to the lab.  I waited my in line and checked in.  I took a seat to wait my turn. 
A man, maybe in his mid-40s, was in line to check into the lab.  His cell phone rang and he answered.  The person at the check in desk called out, “I’ll take the next in line” and he stepped to her window.
And there he stood, talking on his cell phone.  Talking, and talking, and talking.  She looked perplexed but she waited for him.
Meanwhile, there were at least 5 people waiting behind him in line.  Waiting, and waiting, and waiting. 
The hospital asks that you turn you cell phones off while in their buildings.  You should not be wasting the time of the person attempting to check you in.  And, you should not be holding up a long line.
If I had been the woman at the desk, I would have waved him away from me and called the next person in line.  If I had been that next person in line, I would have walked right up to the window and shoved him “gently” moved him aside.
What an asshole.