Tuesday, October 27, 2009

The gods really are crazy

I might just be stubborn.

I've refused to believe it, though evidence exists. But I'm slowly accepting this possibility, which I think goes to show that I'm really not THAT stubborn. I'll acquiesce to the accusations, a little, just to prove them wrong.

Yesterday, that bull-headed trait really wreaked some havoc. And I haven't cleaned it up yet.

All I really wanted was a catalyst, like a meteorite, or something else surprising. Out here, alone mostly, on five acres, in another new town, nothing happens. Unless I force it to. The girl wants some excitement, and she wants it to originate someplace else, that way, it's actually exciting and surprising, instead of inevitable and predictable, because she predicted it. I want Ed McMahon to drive up with a foam core check, even though I never filled out the sweepstakes forms. I want to win the lottery without buying a ticket. I want you to drop by, without an invitation.

But alas, everything out here is my idea, my doing, my choice, my own volition. God-like, yes I am. But it's boring too. Now I know what the gods must have felt when they slapped together some humankind: "It's boring. Nothing interesting ever happens around here. Unless I do it and even if I don't do it, I know it's happening. You know what we need? We need to make something over which we will have no control, and every second of the day, we'll never know what it will do next."
"Oooh! Great idea, Omniscient Igor!"
"Look what I just slapped together, my omnipotent Bertha!"
"Let's give it some free will and watch it gogo!"
"WEEEE! that's funny!"
"Oh crap... not cool little dudes, not cool."

And that was me in my kitchen yesterday. Bored, I tackled no less than three disasters at once, each one a proven prior failure. I charged head-on into disaster out of sheer boredom. And it sucked, as predicted.
Half the ingredients were substitutes.
I've never had one bun of success with yeast, and yet, I dove into dinner rolls with absurd abandon.
I miscarried yogurt, and I'll never know why.
And I ruined a perfectly good quiche by messing up the crust with an experimental flour. The CRUST people! As the name suggests, it's not that hard. It's crust. Crust happens. I've never effed up crust.

Why did I undertake these obviously ill-fated fiascos? Because I was bored. Because I am the god of my kitchen. And I think that's what happened to them too. They rolled out this human dough even as they stubbornly knew, "Now THIS is going to be a disaster."

Late and muddy, my Catalyst came home from work, mixed up some hot buttered rum
(which actually turned out, the jerk) and served it to his failed, deflated goddess. But rum and I...mmm... let's just say that rum doesn't perk me up. I don't even know why I have it... except for Huck also makes really great rum caramel sauce for things like apple pies and pumpkin pies, which he's been successfully rolling out ever few days, the ass.

Eventually Blue noted, "Mom, that's some seriously negative self talk." As an example, I clearly stink. But as a didactic teacher, I seem to be getting some where with my kids.

"I just don't get micro-organisms and bacteria, I guess. I even used thermometers this time."

They're so subtle, those living micro-scopic cultures. And yet they seem so easy. It's like failing at Chia-pets. Everyone can make bread. But me. It's the basic staff of life. After 15 years of trying, I still can't even make a single bun of life. People say to me: Oh! you should make bread! And I usually say, Actually, I prefer to support others for whom that is a successful passion. When I say that, I feel that my failures are actually blessings upon micro-economies.

Huck said, "I think this is an improvement. They're actually sort of edible, if they're hot, with enough butter....and honey."
"I made a dozen rocks for dinner, don't sugar coat it."
"I ate one!"
"That's not a compliment." The man eats everything, anything.

I can't get it going on here, despite that fact that we are all positively swimming in a sea of catalysts. Every day we walk through an invisible fog of catalysts: bacteria, yeasts, molds, micro-organisms yet unnamed and undiscovered. We are continually bathed in catalysts. Nothing -no change, no growth, no life even- happens without them. They make me live and they'll devour my death. And I cannot control them. I cannot tame them. Just like the gods and their little catalysts, us.

Maybe I am my own best instigator, but you could never infer that from what I messed up yesterday. It wasn't boring at least. Mission partially accomplished, I suppose.


  1. I'm going to steal this line, and it will come in handy:

    "Actually, I prefer to support others for whom that is a successful passion."

  2. I am a firm believer in division of labor. And, the fact that thousands of people have been making bread for thousands of years does NOT mean it's easy.

  3. I was just talking to someone about bagels: massively time consuming! Every village needs a designated bagel maker, rather than everyone making one bagel a day at home. YIKES! I'm happy to leave it to someone else.

    But then, I noticed that I just bought a jar of yeast, so apparently the gauntlet has been thrown and the battle is on.



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