Mollycoddled, They’re YOUR Kids, and a Culinary Milestone

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I blew coffee out my nose this morning while perusing my coupon circulars!

This reminded me of Benny Hill’s “Therapist” skit.  Yes, it is worth it to click on the link to the You Tube video.  Especially if you appreciate Benny Hill’s sort of humor as much as I do.

Art may be anal (I know plenty of artistic types who are) but when the word “anal” is found anywhere near the words “breakfast sandwich,” that’s where my culinary curiosity ends.

I get that the creator of this hilariously named morning comestible was meaning to use the word “artisan” without realizing how funny the addition of “al” would make the word appear.  I have to wonder why the grocery store’s advertising editor didn’t spy that and substitute a phrase free of such enjoyable double entendre, such as,  “Artisan Inspired Breakfast Sandwich” or, “An Artisan’s Breakfast Sandwich.”

Then again most “artisans” are probably smoking a bowl, then scarfing down an organic granola bar and a 20 ounce diet Mountain Dew for breakfast.  The artificial food coloring, various other impurities, and caffeine in the diet Mountain Dew are cancelled out by the organic wholesomeness of the granola bar.  Or so some people like to think.  Just like the two liter of diet Dr. Pepper cancels out the calories in the large stuffed crust supreme pizza you had for dinner.  Right.

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Large stuffed crust supreme pizza.  That sounds good, but I will behave and enjoy my planned evening repast of grilled tilapia, steamed broccoli and penne pasta- with sugarless iced tea.

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I would like to know why most parents assume that the state (i.e. government in any form) is responsible for the education of their offspring.  The last time I checked, the bare minimum goals of parenting should consist of being sure that one’s offspring becomes potty-trained, literate and gainfully employed, preferably on or before the age of 21.

Perhaps my sentiments verge on violating child labor laws, but it’s no wonder Jimmy is uneducated, unemployed and staying up at all hours playing “World of Warcraft” and “Call of Duty” while still camping out in Mommy’s basement – at age 35.  Apparently it’s verboten these days to give one’s freeloading spawn a rousing size 7 enema when he or she richly deserves it.  (For those who are wondering what a size 7 enema is, it’s a polite way of referring to me putting my size 7 boot up someone’s ass.)

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Kids should have to work.  My Dad made me, and I turned out – ah, never mind.

I had many, many grievous failings as a mother.   I’m not claiming to be the perfect parent, or even a moderately good one.  If I would have been, I would have home-schooled and gotten access to whatever resources I could to make my son some sort of prodigy in something.  The only problem with that is I had to (and still have to) work.  I didn’t have the luxury of the time and resources to home-school, which is entirely a failure ON ME.

But in spite of him having to endure public school, (I really, really regret that, except for the last 2 years where he actually learned something- in vocational school) somehow my kid ended up being capable of critical thought, fiercely independent,  able to support himself and his daughter, and to a degree, his tastes for high faluting German cars.  He even ended up with a strong work ethic.  Imagine that.  Whether that was luck of the draw, or my insistence that he become as independent as possible as early as possible, I’m not sure.  It could also be that he inherited my penchant for skepticism, (and a healthy dose of the cynical eye) because he questioned “the system” from day one.

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Oh, yes it is.  Daily.  Right now, constantly.

Kids who are taught critical thinking skills (hint: NOT taught intentionally in public schools, at least not any more) are going to be harder to deal with.  They will be disruptive.  They will do weird things.  They will piss you off.  They will be impudent, disrespectful and just plain a thorn in the side.  I wanted to disown my son between the ages of 13 and 16 for all his creative behavioral exploits, believe that.  They will need swift and sometimes harsh correction.  BUT- in the long run- children taught to think critically will mature into confident and capable adults, rather than overgrown, obese children, who become both endless money pits for their parental units to support, and mushy, whiny depositories for whatever drivel they’re spoon fed.

It’s a parent’s responsibility to see that their children not only get an education, but also that they get the critical thinking skills necessary to navigate the world for themselves.  The government is NOT responsible for the education of your children, (and they are doing a predictably abysmal job of it,) and as each day passes I trust the public educational system even less than I did when my son was involved in it.  Public education is no longer about equipping young people for life and imparting meaningful information and vital skills.  Now it’s all about making sure the kiddies know that Heather’s two mommies are just lovely, that gay is OK, and that religious freedom is something everyone has a right to, except of course, Christians.

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But a teacher- even a good one who isn’t a union thrall- can’t do squat if Mom and Dad don’t care.

Antique Cartography, Funky Facts, and I Don’t Take Requests

 

To satisfy my curiosity,I had to see if I could find any early 20th century railroad maps of the US and more specifically, Ohio, so I could see the five points railroad connections in Marion for myself.  The proof I was looking for is here in a 1914 Ohio railway map.  The five points where the rail lines come together in Marion are clearly visible on the 1914 map.  It is still possible to see the Five Points area today, only now its primary identifying landmark is a beer drive-thru.  There is a big difference between the 1914 map and the 2009 map .  Many of those old rail lines were abandoned and pulled up in the early ’80’s.

I like to look at old maps, especially 19th century ones, because they are relatively accurate as far as topography and scale, and they are painfully detailed in the inclusion of place names.  They are also hand-drawn and far more aesthetically pleasing to look at than modern maps.  Of course some of the place names on the old maps are nothing but someone’s cornfield today, but it’s interesting to see the population shifts.  Everyone wants to live in the city.  I can’t say I blame anyone for that.  Living out in the middle of nowhere has its advantages- especially that of privacy and not having to contend with crowds and traffic and the assorted accumulations of dingleberries one encounters in the city, but the major disadvantages come into play when the weather is too bad for road trips and/or one is ill.   Getting health care is bad enough in the city- where you get the royal runaround to get care, you have to deal with way too many people and way too much bureaucratic BS, and when you finally can get things scheduled and arranged, you pay out the wazoo for it.  But health care in the rural backwaters is even harder to get (try finding a Dr. that speaks remotely intelligible English – if you can find a Dr. to begin with-in the sticks) and a good deal of the time basic health services are either non-existent or pitifully inadequate.  Most of the time if you live in the sticks, it’s worth the drive to the city for health care.  Make the road trip, trust me.  But if someone in the sticks needs trauma care, that person is pretty much SOL if the nearest trauma center is 100 miles or more away. 

Sometimes I find the trend to centralize everything to be a bit aggravating.  I understand that it makes better sense to have a large amount of resources in one location, but the logistics don’t always work out as planned.  What’s the point of  “one stop shopping” if the one stop is unnavigable because of the sheer size of the place and from the volume of the teeming crowds who are also trying to squeeze in to get their crud?  When I go to the grocery, especially when I am on time constraints, it’s always my luck that the two old bitties standing around socializing in the dairy section are standing directly in front of the milk cooler door, in front of that gallon of  2% that I need to get.  If you’re going to piddle around in the store, stand in front of something nobody buys, or at least stand in front of something I don’t need to buy.  Go hang out in the condom aisle, or in the candy aisle, or the adult diaper section, or somewhere other than in front of the 2% milk, if you must stand about and chit-chat.  Please don’t block the staple items…but they always do.  Sometimes it takes an Act of God to keep my mouth shut when I want to simply scream, “Would you mind moving your fat asses! I’m trying to get my shit and get out of here!”   Going to the behemoth Kroger store is an undertaking.  I can get almost everything I need there, but sometimes I don’t need to get everything.  Do I really want to wander about for half a mile through this behemoth store, dodging screaming, uncontrolled rugrats, and trying to evade the free sample ladies because I need a gallon of milk, or because the Dingleberry decided he just has to have the one entree item that I don’t already have in the freezer?

I can hear it now. “But I don’t want tilapia filets.  I want catfish nuggets!” 

Never mind that tilapia was on sale and catfish wasn’t.   In my mind it’s logical to get the sale meat or the sale fish rather than to pay up the wazoo for catfish when it’s not on sale, but tilapia is on sale.  I get chicken breast when it’s on sale, pork chops when they’re on sale, beef roast when it’s on sale.  I don’t like paying retail for meat.  If pork chops are on sale then it’s pork chops instead of beef roast or chicken if they’re not on sale.  How hard is that?

Bucko, you’re getting tilapia. Eat it and like it.  It’s raised in the farm ponds just like catfish is.  Maybe catfish will be on sale next week, but for now, improvise, adapt and overcome.  As Mom always used to tell us:  “Thank God you have food.”  If I could learn to thank God for mashed potatoes with big burnt black chunks in them and a vile version of tuna casserole that I strongly believe killed Suzie the Dachshund at the relatively early age of seven, (I still feel guilty about that, because I liked Suzie,) then you can thank God for grilled tilapia.  You can also thank God that, unlike my mother, I can actually cook.