Getting Ready

Ever just wish that you could disconnect your arms from your body before bed?  You know, just unplug them from your torso, place them on the bedroom dresser, and have a good night’s rest?

No?

Then clearly you don’t know the wonderment one experiences when you’ve awakened and learned that you’ve spent the entire night sleeping on your limbs.  It’s like having two non-functioning hoses attached to your shoulders, ’cause your arms are effectively useless until the blood returns to them.  There some semblance of movement, but it could just be nervous tics; a finger here, a thumb there.  There’s really not much you can do for the next twenty minutes except wait and hope that you’ll be alright.

Naturally, that’s when you’re expected to handle things – the phone rings and it’s the one call you’ve been waiting for.  Good luck with that, because believe me – you’ll need it.

And . . . that’s how my day began.


In Academia, the month of August is the equivalent of watching “60 Minutes” on a Sunday night:  It’s Nature’s way of telling you to prepare your clothes and get your gear in order because the fun is over and soon, you’re going back to work.  And that’s just what I’ve been doing – getting ready.

Most of the work is done – syllabi have been written; class lectures have been updated.  Usually, I go on a “school supply” run, buying paper, folders, pens, and note cards, on the off-chance that I’ll have a student who might not have the resources to buy their own (yes, there are really poor college students), but I have quite a bit left over from last year – so much so that I might just bring it all home for our use.*  It’s been a while since I’ve had a student who was that lacking, but it happens, so maybe I’ll just wait a few weeks to see how things go.  The big “must have” items are flash drives (jump drives, data sticks, whatever); last year I found several 16GB drives on clearance for under five dollars (and yes, I cleaned up), but I’ve not found any this year.  If I do, maybe I’ll stock two or three for students, too.

* For those not in the know, the best time – frankly, the only time – to buy school supplies is in the July/August time frame because that’s when they’re least expensive.  I’ve seen prices triple on some of those things by the time classes begin; some students wait until the proverbial ‘last minute’ to enroll, never factoring in the cost difference in their supplies.

While out, I went to the supermarket with misguided dreams of finally cooking dinner.  Thankfully, it hasn’t been as hot as it was last month, but it’s not as cool as I’d have liked, so I’ve been avoiding the kitchen like the plague.  But I’m an unrepentant optimist, so I filled my cart up with a few items, most of which can’t be used in a microwave and must be used in a conventional oven.  If you’ve followed my periodic complaints about my heat-magnet home, you’ll appreciate the craziness.

Yay me.

So I opted to make spaghetti and meatballs, because we hadn’t had that in quite some time, and . . . I kid you not – it came to me in a dream.  Food doesn’t normally come to me during my nocturnal adventures; I cant’ honestly remember the last time I’d even dreamt of food.  But the other night, “spaghetti” kept popping into my head, so much so that when I woke, it was still there.  Minimal heat and no hot home.  That’s a win-win in my book.

Problem was – and with me, there’s always a ‘problem’ side to the story – I had more sauce than pasta.  This was a lack of attentiveness on my end; I thought that I’d put more than enough pasta in the pot to cook.  It wasn’t until it was half-way through that it dawned on me that it just wasn’t enough.  This became even more obvious after I blended the pasta with the sauce and meatballs (store-bought, I’m afraid; I haven’t made them from scratch since the 10th grade) – just a huge pan of red with an occasional noodle making an appearance.

I could cook more pasta, but honestly, I don’t know that I want to.  Can you freeze spaghetti sauce?  Because I’ve got quite a bit – I’d picked up one of those ‘family tree’ size jugs that are like ten times the size of the normal ‘family’ sized containers – that’s sitting in the ‘fridge and I don’t want to toss it out.  I can go full experimental mode and craft some dish that will use up some of the sauce, but I’m pretty sure that the only way to deep-six all of that tomato-y goodness is to make another pot of spaghetti.  This is throws a wrench into my plans, because tomorrow should be cool enough for me to make chicken alfredo pizza, for which, my mouth’s been set for nearly a week.

But I guess I’ll wait.  Darn.

The Spaghetti Fiasco (I’m big on giving crises Hollywood-style names – it makes them sound more significant) isn’t the worst of it, though.  I’ve repeatedly discussed my sugar addiction and how I’ve probably crossed the line into diabetes long ago, but am too afraid or stubborn to actually confirm it.  Ignorance is bliss, if it doesn’t kill you.  Anyway, I’ve had a number of serious headaches, which my physician says could be diabetic in nature.  (There’s also the issue of high blood pressure, but I can only handle once crisis at a time.)  I’ve been trying to swap out my sugar intake with other things – rather than reaching for a candy bar, for example, grabbing a piece of fruit.  No more of my usual coffee; I’ll drink decaf instead (I honestly can’t tell the difference).  I rarely cooked with salt before, but now I use a salt-substitute.  Hell, I even switched to low-salt potato chips.

I know, they’re minor things, and probably pointless without other life-changes, but . . . one step at a time.

Here, though, is my point:  I like cherries.  I rarely get them, however, because the ones the local groceries carry haven’t been all that impressive.  Until now.  I got to the store and there were bags and bags of fresh cherries, each sprayed with just a few drops of water to make them look like the most mouth-watering fruit you’d ever seen.  I didn’t realize how long it’d been since I’ve had cherries; I’d forgotten just how big they can get.  More to the point, I’d forgotten how expensive they are.

Are these cherries from the only cherry tree in the Western Hemisphere??  The $2.49/pound price is deceptive, especially when each pre-packed bag weighs almost three pounds. 

I’ll spare you my reactions – they weren’t pretty.  But health comes first, and I reluctantly bought the smallest bag ($7.04, thank you very much), which I am currently enjoying.  I’m trying to convince myself that this one bag will do the trick, as I can’t afford to get addicted to cherries right now, but we’ll see.

Might not be a bad addiction to have, you know?

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