Interstellar Adventures

October 31, 2006

‘Twas brillig

Filed under: Elle & Zed,Mom Life — by InterstellarLass @ 9:22 am

I’ve decided I need to read more poetry. Last week, Zed had a homework assignment. He had to ask people what their favorite poem was, and why the person liked it. I couldn’t remember the last time I’d read a poem. So I had to pull out my Norton Anthology of Poetry, and I turned to the one page in the book that was marked. The poem was Jabberwocky by Lewis Carroll. Just like me to mark this. It’s not an elegant, romantic, pretentious poem. Rather it’s nonsensical and fun.

I read it, rather dramatically, to Zed. I think he looked at me like I was quite insane. I read it several times actually, and then I think he finally started to get into the feel of the poem, and recognized that many of the words are made-up and asked why and what they meant.

Later that night, I was flipping through the anthology, and Elle asked me to read some poems. I read Kubla Khan by Samuel Taylor Coleridge. I read The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock by T.S. Eliot. They liked it. And so did I. “Read more mommy.” they asked.

And today, I saw a story on CNN, where a previously-unpublished Sylvia Plath poem will be published tomorrow in Blackbird, and online journal published by Virginia Commonwealth University. How exciting!

I used to pride myself on being literate and well-read. I don’t feel like I am anymore (well-read that is, I’m still literate). I haven’t read a book in ages. There’s no time. And the pop-lit that’s out there is crap. I want clever and smart and meaningful. I suppose I’ll have to turn back to the classics for that.

Update: Happy Halloween. Nick and I will be cruising with Superman and Supergirl tonight. Then later on I’ll play Lois and cross over to the dark-side and get it on with Lex Luthor. Lucky me. 😉

October 30, 2006

Witty Post Title Goes Here, Right?

Filed under: Brain Farts,Elle & Zed,Family & Friends,Interstellar Casa — by InterstellarLass @ 9:59 am

I have been having a horrible time getting a post out. Nothing is coming to me. I don’t know what the problem is. A sort of mental constipation perhaps. I try to think and all that comes out is some sort of Tasmanian Devil speak. Urk, splak, blee, squa, phhbbb, blee, urk!

Nick was out of town the whole weekend. I missed him. Mushy mushy and all that stuff.

Elle’s team had a great win over the weekend. They beat their opponents 6-0. Elle had an assist and an almost.

All of my friends had plans over the weekend, so I did a teeny bit house work and took long naps. Oh, and I finished the Sunday crossword. I haven’t done that in a while. Not the NYTimes Sunday Crossword. I don’t think I’ve ever finished one of those, or even got more than a handful of clues for that matter.

I bought the kids some new cool-weather clothes from JCPenney. They were having a pretty good sale.

I bought the tile for both bathroom floors. This weekend, in addition to my mom’s birthday party, Nick’s brother is coming up, and he’s going to help us demo our shower stall. While showering on Friday morning, I reached down to touch a tile that didn’t look right. It fell off the wall. Nice. There are a few more that look like they are on their last leg. An all new shower stall will be mandatory I think. The fun of home ownership!

Update: I also forgot to mention that I have a zit on my chin the size of the Lone Star, and just as bright (red). People must duck as I talk, lest the Lone Star poke them in the eye. AND it’s a bad hair day, made worse by the North Wind blowing cold air this way. The only saving grace? My news shoes (also purchased at Penney’s) that make my need for a pedicure horribly evident.

October 26, 2006

Thursday Thirteen, ed. ix

Filed under: Thursday Thirteen — by InterstellarLass @ 12:28 pm

Thirteen Things in Interstellar Lass’ World

1. Holy Crap! I forgot it was Thursday! So of course, I’m late.

2. Last weekend we went shopping for a back door. I currently have a sliding door, which I hate. They came to measure today, and of course the door space is about 16″ too wide, and 1″ too short. I will have to have a carptenter come frame-out the door space to make a standard size door fit.

3. Nick is going to El Paso this weekend. He’s not gone and I already miss him. Sniff, sniff…

4. Zed has poison ivy. From the retreat he went on at the beginning of October. He just showed me his leg yesterday. He said it’s been like that for two weeks. Honestly! I never see my his legs! He wears jeans all the time.

5. Nick and I have been watching The Biggest Loser. Ken (from Washington state) was eliminated last night. On his follow up, he’d lost another 70 pounds, bringing his total weight loss to 138 pounds. AMAZING! He’s done the best so far of all the ones sent home.

6. My pansies and my bulbs all arrived. Now I have to plant them. Maybe that will fill some of my time this weekend.

7. I just found out recently that my grandparents are calling my son every day to check on him. This bothers me. He calls me every day when he gets home, and he is never home alone for more than an hour and a half. In this time he is doing homework and chores.

8. It makes me mad because it makes me feel like they are sneaking behind my back and checking up on my kid because they think I’ve made a bad decision. I also feel like they are nosing in on my parenting decisions when they weren’t invited.

9. I think I need to go to the dentist and ask about a mouth guard. I think I’m grinding my teeth in my sleep. My jaw hurts.

10. I can’t believe this is the last Thursday in October!

11. Zed and Elle are going to be Superman and Supergirl for Halloween. Zed’s already got his costume. He tried it on the other night and was running all around the house making the cape fly.

12. I think if there were a Superman costume in Nick’s size, he would buy it.

13. I haven’t dressed up for Halloween in a couple of years. I can’t think of anything to dress as, and there’s no costume contest, so I’ll just hand out the candy.

Links to other Thursday Thirteens!

1. Leave your name and link and I’ll add you here!

Get the Thursday Thirteen code here!The purpose of the meme is to get to know everyone who participates a little bit better every Thursday. Visiting fellow Thirteeners is encouraged! If you participate, leave the link to your Thirteen in others comments. It’s easy, and fun! Be sure to update your Thirteen with links that are left for you, as well! I will link to everyone who participates and leaves a link to their 13 things. Trackbacks, pings, comment links accepted!

October 24, 2006

Adventures in Cooking

Filed under: Interstellar Casa,Real Good Food — by InterstellarLass @ 7:29 pm

I’m becoming more and more intimate with my kitchen. None of my measuring implements have gone missing just yet. My dishwasher, all ten of my fingers, and my mixing bowls are still with us.

Last night it was spaghetti and meatballs. Until The Ex’s grandmother learned me, I never knew that you actually cooked the meatballs in the sauce. That’s right. A little salt, a little pepper, some fresh parsley, parmesean, an egg and some breadcrumbs mixed into some ground round, balled up, and dropped straight into the sauce. I make them about the size of an egg (a chicken egg, not an ostrich egg, in case you were confused) to make sure that they cook all the way through after simmering in the sauce for about an hour.

Tonight, I made the Enchilada Casserole. Nancy at Crazed Mom asked me for the recipe, and since I thought it was good, I’ll share. Nick’s opinion is slanted since he grew up on “real” Mexican food, and Zed is somewhat picky. Elle asked for seconds, so I know she liked it too. The next time I make it, I’ll make some adjustments that I’ll note below, but here is the original recipe from CleanHomeJournal.com.

One 3-pound chicken, boiled, deboned, and cut into bite size pieces. Save the broth.
2 Tbsp vegetable oil
1 cup onion, chopped
1 cup bell pepper, chopped
1 Tbsp dried oregano
1-10 oz can cream of chicken soup, low-fat, condensed
1-10 oz can cream of mushroom soup, low-fat, condensed
2-10 oz cans chopped tomatoes
1/8 lb cheddar cheese, grated
1/8 lb Montery Jack cheese, grated
12 corn tortillas

  1. Boil chicken, covered in water, for 30-40 minutes until done. Remove from broth and let cool to touch.
  2. Preheat oven to 350F.
  3. Heat the vegetable oil until hot. Add the onion, bell pepper, and oregano and saute until onion is translucent.
  4. Remove from heat and add the chicken soup, mushroom soup, and the canned tomatoes including juice. Stir to combine.
  5. Dip the tortillas into the warm chicken broth for a few seconds, one at a time, and layer across the bottom of a 9″ x 13″ baking pan with four of the tortillas. Cut to fit if necessary.
  6. Sprinkle half of the chicken across the layer of tortillas. Spread 1/3 of the soup mixture over the chicken and sprinkle 1/3 of the grated cheese.
  7. Repeat with another layer of tortillas, chicken, soup and cheese.
  8. Dip the remaining tortillas in the broth and layer across the top. Spread the remaining soup mixture over the top and sprinkle with the remaining cheese.
  9. Bake in the oven for 30-45 minutes until hot and bubbly and slightly browned.

Here are the substitutions I made for Lass’ ‘Whitey Style’ Enchilada Casserole. I call it ‘Whitey Style’ because, as Nick said, bell pepper is for white people that want to pretend to eat Mexican food.

  1. Used a can of Hatch Green Chile sauce in place of the can of cream of mushroom soup. Mushrooms do not belong in enchiladas.
  2. Added about a teaspoon of cayenne pepper. This didn’t do much to kick up the heat. Must add more next time.

Other than the calor temperature, this wasn’t as caliente as I think I would have liked. Next time I will make the following substitutions.

  1. Use two cans of Hatch Green Chile sauce in place of both cans of soup.
  2. Replace the bell pepper with either jalapeno or poblano pepper, or a green chile.
  3. Replace the cheddar cheese with an asadero cheese or queso blanco.
  4. Use the Ro-tel tomatos in place of the regular diced tomato.
  5. Use more tortillas in the layers. They came in a pack of 24.
  6. Remove the neck and the other innards from the body cavity of the chicken before cooking. (Duh! I can’t believe I did this!)

I think these changes will add some spice and more flavor. I also recommend letting the casserole sit for a few minutes so it stands up. I cut into it too quickly and the insides just kind of slumped out. If you have any ideas how to improve it, let me know! And if you make it, let me know how you like it! It still won’t be Mexican food, but my whitey-style palate will like it just fine.

October 23, 2006

Cold Front Blew Through…

Filed under: Texas Life — by InterstellarLass @ 8:56 am

Texas “Winters” are a never-ending series of cold fronts and warm-ups. The weather is practically schizophrenic. 70’s one day, 40’s the next. And then it’ll change again. It makes a ‘winter wardrobe’ almost impossible. You’ve always got to keep out a pair of shorts and a couple of t-shirts just in case.

This weekend was pretty chilly. A cold front blew through on Thursday, and again on Saturday & Sunday. The wind was chilly, and yesterday’s high was 62. Today’s high is 71. And we’ll be stuck there until the next ‘cool front’.

All the weekend chill did was bring out the cooking bug in me. I clipped coupons, looked up recipes, and planned my ‘menu’ for the week. We eat out a lot. More than I’d like to. Enough that I’m sick of all the restaurants around here. But now, we have to be a lot more careful about our budget, so home-cooked meals are plentiful on our horizon.

Yesterday I cooked a chili, spaghettic sauce and meatballs, and boiled and de-boned a whole chicken for an enchilada casserole. I also made a bread! I’ve never baked bread before, so it was an all-new experience for me. My first dance with activated yeast. It turned out well I think.

It’s getting closer and closer to the Holidays and I’m itching for some time off. I’m looking forward to a weekend with my girlfriends coming up here soon. And then Nick and I are heading to KC for a get-away before my birthday. The only thing I’m not looking forward to is Christmas Shopping Season. Has anyone heard about these malls that are thinking about opening at midnight on Thanksgiving Night? I mean Holy Hell! Give it a rest! I think the whole ‘Day after Thanksgiving Shopping Extravaganza’ is insane as it is. But to open at Midnight and be open almost 24 hours for shopping??? It’s not necessary and I think it’s just sick. I avoid malls like the plague around this time anyway, so if any of you participate in the madness, you won’t have to fight me for the parking spot.

October 20, 2006

My hand hurts…

Filed under: Uncategorized — by InterstellarLass @ 10:35 am

From signing my life away! Yay! Nick and I are now Home Owners! That’s a scary thought! But now it’s OURS! OURS! OURS!

The home-buying process wasn’t what I thought it was going to be. Maybe it’s because I already live in the house. I knew it would be frustrating at times, and last night I was ready to be ill. But now, it’s all done. And I think I’m relaxed. Somewhat.

Hope everyone has a great weekend!

October 19, 2006

Thursday Thirteen, ed. viii

Filed under: Thursday Thirteen — by InterstellarLass @ 7:27 am

Thirteen Things in Interstellar Lass’ World

1. Jeffrey Sebelia won Project Runway! I got scared that he wasn’t going to pull it off given the ‘issues’ that whiney, bitter Laura raised, but he did! Go Jeffrey!

2. Uli also had an amazing collection. Her clothes were fantastic. The colors were brilliant. And her dress than turned into a swimsuit really wow’d me.

3. Now I want to learn how to sew too. Actually, I’ve been wanting to learn, but that little thing called time really noses into my daily schedule.

4. Nick is taking Elle to Dad’s Movie Night at the school. He’d been wanting her to clean her room. I told her that if she did, he’d take her to Movie Night. Nick is not looking forward to it from the standpoint of it being an ‘organized function’ at the school.

5. That means Zed and I get a little date night too. It will not be devoted to doing more math! Math-free night!

6. I totally stunk at math in school. I did OK until I got to Geometry. Between Geometry and Algebra II, I cried so much because I just didn’t get it. Then Trig made sense to me.

7. I went to a little HH with a couple of my girlfriends last night. We haven’t seen each other out, without the boys, in quite a while. It was good!

8. Last weekend, Nick and I ran in to some of his friends that he knew back from when he lived in El Paso. We were walking in to the mall, they were walking out. Tomorrow night we’re going to their house for dinner. Their kids are younger, but Elle will be able to play with them. Zed will get his Gameboy just for the night so he has something to do.

9. On Tuesday, I got a flat of pansies delivered that I bought. Yesterday I got notice that bulbs I ordered from Burpee have been shipped. But those are for spring. The pansies are for now. I might have to go get some more though. My beds are in sad, sad shape.

10. My hair is driving me nuts. Growing it out is such a pain. It’s in that ‘too long but still too short to tuck behind your ears ‘ phase. And I can’t pull the whole thing back in a ponytail yet.

11. I need lots of coffee this morning. It’s chilly here. A cold front blew in (hard!) last night and it feels good. Nick and I slept with our bedroom window open. Refreshing!

12. I accidently killed a bird last night. I was driving along and didn’t see it. There was a car behind me so I couldn’t slam on the brakes. I told the bird to “Shoo! Shoo!” but it didn’t take off until it was under my car. I heard the thump. I’ve never run over an animal before. I don’t want to ever do it again.

13. In 24 hours, we will be homeowners! Closing is tomorrow. I feel slightly ill. Buying real estate is a bit of an ordeal. Copies of this and that and oh yeah, this too. Almost done!

Links to other Thursday Thirteens!
1. Faeryland Mom
2. Nancy
3. KT Cat
4. Gypsy
5. Bev
6. Mommyba
7. Amy
8. Racyli
9. Chaotic Mom
10. You’re next!

Get the Thursday Thirteen code here!The purpose of the meme is to get to know everyone who participates a little bit better every Thursday. Visiting fellow Thirteeners is encouraged! If you participate, leave the link to your Thirteen in others comments. It’s easy, and fun! Be sure to update your Thirteen with links that are left for you, as well! I will link to everyone who participates and leaves a link to their 13 things. Trackbacks, pings, comment links accepted!

October 18, 2006

Stuck Again

Filed under: Brain Farts,Elle & Zed — by InterstellarLass @ 8:36 am

I find myself blocked. I keep hoping for something to bubble to the top, but that doesn’t seem to be happening. Actually, that’s not true. I have a post in mind. It’s been on my mind for over a week now. But it’s very personal to me and I don’t know that I can post it. I’m afraid of all the emotions I’ll go through in posting it. Nick is having some rambling thoughts too.

So, to fill up space:

Zed and I worked on percentages last night. Most of what he missed on his tests that he was making up happened to relate to percentages. The other stuff was just mistakes due to sloppy work. After we’d worked on percentages for 45 minutes, we had dinner, then worked on them for another 45 minutes. When it was all done, I asked if how I taught it was how his teacher taught it. He said no. And I can’t really get a handle on how they’re being taught, because he has no text book. They have workbooks at school, but there is no text book for him to bring home. This is bothersome to me. I think more and more schools are going to workbooks/worksheets/one set of texts that stay at school. How are kids supposed to study? Correct me if I’m wrong, because I suck at math, but figuring a percent of something (say 6 of 18 balloons are red, what percentage are red?)  is (x/y)*100=z%. So (6/18)*100=33% (using rounding).

The results from Elle’s 1K race last Saturday finally became available. There was some major snafu with the 5K timing that held it all up. Elle got 4th in her age group and 20th overall. Good girl!

OK, and this is just DUMB. It drives me crazy when people ban things just to prevent even the possibility of someone getting a bump or a bruise. Next thing you know, people will be wrapping their children in bubble wrap. Just moronic. And on the exclusionary thing – that’s life. People are excluded for one reason or another. It happens. In the work-place, in college, in real life. It pisses me off that schools are trying to create an imaginary world where stuff doesn’t happen. And then later on when it does, the kid is going to get a rude awakening. Learn to take the good with the bad. You’re going to have to eventually.

October 16, 2006

Something Doesn’t Add Up

Filed under: Elle & Zed — by InterstellarLass @ 11:51 pm

I got two of Zed’s progress reports today. Social Studies was very good. A 95 average. Excellent.

But what’s this? A 77 in Honors Math? Unacceptable. Math is Zed’s forte! He’s in Honors Math for a reason! He was on the Math Team for a reason! What is up with this???

Major grades count 75%. Daily work counts 25% toward the average. He has one 0 (zero) to make up from when he was sick last week, and his daily work average will be a 100. I’m fine with that. The problem is the major grades. A 45, a 50 and a 66 bring that average down fast. And the 66 was sent home last week for a signature. Except I didn’t get to see it. It was hidden from me. Grrr.

All three of these failing grades can be corrected to bring each grade to a 70. If he brings each of those to a 70, and brings his daily average to 100, he can bring his average to an 86 immediately. For now, I’ve taken all electronic apparatuses (computer and Gameboy) away from him. I’ve asked that he bring his grade to a minimum of a 90 on his report card two and a half weeks from now. I think that’s do-able from an 86. Otherwise, I hold on to said electronic apparatuses until the next set of progress reports.

And the thing that ticked me off the most? I finally saw the 66 test. The mistakes he made were careless and rushed. The biggest thing? He didn’t show his work. But that’s not why he was dinged. He just plain got the answer wrong. How can I tell where he made a mistake in his formula if I can’t see his work? And that’s where the majority of his errors were. Guesses. Bad logic thought out in his head. From now on I want to see it on paper. Thought process required!

And to think. I haven’t yet received the current Science and English/Literature progress reports.

Double the Fun

Filed under: Memes & Quizzes — by InterstellarLass @ 8:00 am

The Womanmoose saved me! I had nothing, zero, nil, zilch, nada to write today. And now, thanks to her, I have a lovely meme to share with you.

Two Names You Go By:
1. Mom/Mommy…
2. Lass…

Two Things You Are Wearing Right Now:
1. Shoes
2. Earrings

Two Things You Would Want HAVE in a Relationship:

1. Love
2. Humor

Two of Your Favorite Things to do:
1. Cook
2. Kiss Nick

Two Things You Want Very Badly At The Moment:
1. To win the lottery
2. New flooring for my entire house

Two pets you had/have:
1. Wrigley
2. Tori

Two people who will fill this out:
1. Maybe Jolynn
2. Maybe KaraMia

Two things you did last night:
1. Watched football
2. Watched the DVR-recorded re-run of Project Runway Season Finale Part 1. Jeffery rocks! I hate that bitch Laura. She’s a whiner.

Two things you ate today:
1. Coffee
2. Ummm…I will eat oatmeal soon.

Two people you Last Talked To:
1. Nick…
2. Zed…

Two Things You’re doing tomorrow:
1. Working…
2. Taking Elle to soccer practice, if it’s not rained out…

Two longest car rides:
1. Dallas to Harwich, MA…. (up in Cape Cod)
2. Dallas to Orlando… (the Florida Panhandle is hell)

Two Favorite Holidays:

1. Christmas…
2. Thanksgiving…

Two favorite Alcoholic beverages:

1. Frangelico
2. Shiner Bock

Two Favorite Cities:
1. London
2. New York (just to visit)

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