Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Plague Bunny

Amelia laid in bed. Her nose scraped clean and raw by repeated attacks of Kleenex, she huddled under the blankets on her bed. At six she didn't understand why the normal method of breathing wouldn't just sort itself out and come back to her. When she opened her mouth to get air, she could hear the rattle and gurgle of fluids in her chest. The sound of liquid bubbling around where it oughtn't be distracted her from sleep. Lack of sleep made the already irritable child positively miserable and she began to softly whimper to herself as she lay.

The sound of Amelia's cries drew her older sister, Therese, into the room. She peered intently at the girl. Her hands were clasped behind her back and she stared at her little sister like she was a museum exhibit. "What's the matter with you", she said abruptly. "'m sick", Amelia muttered. "And I'm cold even though I'm under all these blankets!" "Well, that's probably the fever. You're all red and sweaty", Therese glanced sidelong at her. "Mom's says it's the best thing for you, really. It'll burn the virus out."

"But, I don't want to get burned!" declared Amelia. She'd had a sunburn once. It had been painful, but then had led to several days of peeling skin. She reconsidered, "Will I get to peel stuff off my arms again?" "No", replied Therese. "But, on the upside, you probably won't die. That's something."

"I don't want to die!" Amelia's tired little brain knew about death. Death is what happens to your goldfish when they leap out of their bowls and fuse to the bureau while you're at school all day. She wanted no part of that.

Therese contemplated this. "Wait just a second", she said. She left the room. Amelia thought about taking this opportunity to see if she could get Mom to bring her one of those frozen Pedialyte things to suck on, but she was more distracted by the idea of death. Would she begin by rotting away at the tip of her already chaffed nose? What would it feel like to be stuck to the bed? She began crying anew.

Her sister came back into the room holding a dilapidated stuffed bunny. "Here", she said, holding the bunny out to Amelia. "What's this", she asked. "This," said Therese, "is Plague Bunny. You sleep with Plague Bunny at night and while you're sleeping Plague Bunny takes your sickness away every time you roll over and he falls out of the bed and onto the floor. Eventually he gets it all and you get better." "But, what if he doesn't fall out of bed while I'm sleeping", Amelia inquired suspiciously. "Then what?"

"Well, then", her sister replied. "That just means that God hates you."

But Amelia hadn't heard her. She had already fallen asleep.

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Would You Like Fries With That?

Well, apparently we're poised to be hit with a new major snowstorm. This, despite a week of almost spring-like weather that managed to finally melt the enormous mounds of snow left over from the last one.

Weather.com currently is telling me that I can expect my area to get 1 to 3 inches of snow tonight and another 6 to 10 inches tomorrow. 8 to 12 inches may fall in the town where I work - who knew a 30 minute drive north could make that big a difference?

So, since I may find myself housebound tomorrow, here's a recipe that takes advantage of foods you may have waiting for you in your freezer - frozen french fries and leftover holiday gravy.

Poutine

1 30 oz. bag of frozen french fries
2 c. gravy (chicken or beef...although the gravy in the picture was leftover turkey gravy from Thanksgiving), thawed if frozen
8 oz. cheddar cheese (preferably "cheese curds" - although small balls of fresh mozzarella will work too)
Salt to taste

1. Cook the fries according to package directions in either the oven or with a deep fryer (I oven cook mine).
2. While the fries are cooking, reheat the gravy until thoroughly heated through and bubbly on medium heat.
3. When the fries are done, remove them to your serving platter (drain them first on paper towels if you deep fried them). Salt the fries to taste. Scatter the cheese curds over the fries and then drown everything in gravy. Eat immediately with lots of cold beer to wash everything down.

Serves 3-4 very hungry people.

Try this. Seriously. Gravy, fries and cheese - how could it possibly be bad?

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

Back, Right After This Commercial Break

Happy New Year! I apologize for having been away for so long. I blame Rock Band for everything. As you can see from the picture on the left, my little avatar is living the rock dream. She's got funky hair and more ink than the Oxford English Dictionary (are you down with OED?). Evil Scoop has toured the world twice and taken the planet by storm as break-out vocal act. She's even climbed into the top 130 or so of vocal acts on the leaderboards. Yup. Right up until she had to play in "Expert" mode if she wanted to earn anymore points. That's about when things went sideways and she started to care more about partying than the music. It was a fast descent into booze, blow and Digital X. Currently she's spending a little time in the hospital for "exhaustion".

But don't sweat it. Soon she'll be back up and running with boyfriend, Drunky McPorno, and the best band you've never heard of, The Hiro Nakamura Experience. As soon as either of them can play well enough in "Expert" to get past the stupid fan cap. The stupid, awful demoralizing fan cap.

In the meantime, Evil Scoop will learn to play drums. Because it will take her a very long time to even get to "Medium" on drums. That would be because of the need for rehab her stunning lack of coordination. Yes. Most definitely.