chukichi

this thing is still about things

Tag Archives: home school

On being hungry

4

Well damn.  I take a nap and the whole country is at war.  Again.  About food.

Abraham is rethinking his life choices.

Social media is attacking everyone on their opinion about the White House dinner for Clemson’s football team (sooooo much, just Google that mess).  Basically, fast food is garbage to serve people vs. ‘real’ Americans love fast food, cater them a proper meal vs. tax payers shouldn’t pay for meals for college athletes, they loved the meal! vs. they thought this was a joke!

It is definitely a new level of absurdity that an entire group of people traveled to the White House, dressed up, and ate fast food served on historical solid silver platters during the longest government shutdown to date.  I tried to understand who pays for these invitations–if the President invites you to hang out, does the taxpayer buy plane tickets?  Is it up to the individual?  I assume it’s like going out on a traditional date:  the person doing the asking should be the person doing the paying (unless the person being asked feels more comfortable paying their own way but does so in quarters because she’s broke but doesn’t want to be obligated on this outing that she really, really wants to be a date but isn’t sure is a date because no one ever said it was a date-date, not that that’s ever happened to me or anything).  According to this 2014 article from the Guardian, “The cost of meals for some White House events, including state dinners and receptions, is picked up by the State Department or political parties….For private events, presidents pay for food and beverages, use of waiters and servers and setup and cleanup crews. Taxpayers are only supposed to pay for official government functions.”  So…are athlete dinners official or just a fancy, expensive date?

The hands make this picture look really tense for some reason.

Why is food such a divisive and controversial subject?  Food is weaponized against every group, every class, every person in this country.  If you have allergies to dairy or gluten then you’re just pretentious, if you eat fast food you’re uncultured trash, if you try to eat a healthier, more organic diet you’re a hippy, if you’re overweight then you’re just the worst across the board–crank that up by 1000 if you’re overweight and on any public assistance like SNAP.

Articles like this one from The Atlantic are popping up (again) announcing what a lot of already know or already experienced:  college students are not getting enough food, especially student athletes.  From Thanks for nothing: NCAA leaving athletes hurt and hungry:

“I called my coach after opening an empty fridge and told him “ Coach I ain’t got no food , no money , I’m about to do something stupid.” Arian Foster added.

 

“Our stadium had like 107,000 seats, 107,000 people buying the ticket to come and watch us play…I go to my dorm, open the fridge and there’s nothing in the fridge.… Why don’t I have something to show for what I did…. It’s total bullshit, but you don’t say anything because if you say anything, you step out of line and that will hurt your chances of getting to that next level.”

All of this has really struck a chord with me today.  This entire day has been a reflection on gratitude, and how different my life is today than it was 20 years ago.  Also, reflecting on my life 20 years ago makes me feel incredibly ancient.  As I’ve mentioned previously, I home school my kids for reasons and Fridays are more of an independent/fun/hands on type day.  Of course, today was Monday which meant that even my “easy” day fell apart but whatever.  Fridays are for cooking and food science which is a wonderful way to incorporate literally anything you want into hanging out in the kitchen.  Our previous classes covered easier things like kitchen safety, reading a recipe, fractions (baking), chemical reactions (baking) or how yeast is just farting into our bread and how that’s great (more baking).  Now we’re moving on to eggs (understanding and labeling the biological structure), where our food comes from and how we process food in America vs. other countries.  Today we discussed amino acids and how heat changes their structure. Boiling eggs doesn’t sound particularly fun, but it was and delicious.  As an aside, watch/read (on hiatus) Silver Spoon because it’s wonderful and explains agriculture in a very gross and delightful way.

Here is where I am reminded of my current place in life and how different it is now.  We boiled 18 eggs to observe the stages of denaturation.  I bought a portable induction cook top specifically for use with the kids which is safer than them both perched on kitchen chairs over an open flame gas stove but also maybe kind of indulgent?  The fact that I do not have to work and that I have the absolute luxury of teaching my kids at home.  I’m living the whitest, middle classist, soccer mommy-est dream ever.  And I know it.

I love eggs

I talk about all of this because when I hear all of this garbage in the news about food and food quality and how suspiciously people look upon those who do not have any I am amazed.  I wonder if those people have ever been hungry–truly hungry.  I have been hungry in blessedly short stints–days and weeks where I’ve had little to no food.  I vividly remember the pain and sickness that comes from eating even a little bit after days of not eating.  I can’t imagine long-term hunger because it never lasted long enough to do serious damage to my body.  Long term starvation destroys muscle and brain tissue but usually the body is so weakened that the immune system shuts down first and infectious disease runs rampant.  What a memory, to be grateful for only being hungry and not starving; short term sickness instead of long term damage.  Thinking of having just one egg, let alone 18 WHOLE EGGS was at the time, completely out of reach.  Protein is expensive and carbohydrates are cheap.

Specifically, I remember being down to one last bagel.

not fancy bagels like these, though

Long story short, I was broke, and my $5 per hour part time minimum wage job wasn’t doing enough to pay my $200 rent AND pay for utilities AND keep a car to go to work AND keep me in any sort of mental state to stay in college.  Typical paycheck gone-before-received scenario and the last food in my apartment was a bag of 6 Wal-Mart (where I was working, of course) blueberry bagels.  I am guessing it was about a dollar for the bag, as a current bag of bagels at Wal-Mart are $1.64.  These 6 bagels were going to last me at least 6 days but on the first day I made the mistake of eating the first bagel like…a bagel.  Cut in half, toasted in the oven (because who can afford a toaster?!) and devoured in its entirety in about 10 seconds.  The biggest problem was eating that bagel didn’t take any time whatsoever.  I eventually went to half a bagel a day but my genius moment was when I decided to slice the bagel into chips, bake them, and eat them one or two at a time throughout the day.  It spread out my “meals” and gave me the mental security that I would have something for later, even if it was just a bite.

And that’s how I lived for a while.

Another time I remember driving up to the store to buy two of the tiniest cans of tomato sauce for 44 cents each.  I had enough money to buy two and if I remember correctly, they were the 8 oz. sized cans (about half of a normal sized can).  It was humiliating because this was where I worked–people I knew saw me, saw what I was buying and in proper form roasted the hell out of me for it.  I played it off as if I had just ran out and only needed a little bit.  I’m sure I cried after the fact, not just from the situation but also probably because the three strands of spaghetti were shit.

Moving to a different state, getting different jobs, the scenario stayed the same.  If you’re sneaky, you can eat leftovers out of a trash can or steal expired canned food out of the break room cabinet once you’re sure no one remembers who put it in there.  No one expects bank workers to not have money and not have food.  I feel like my life was saved when I landed a job at a medical practice that paid decently, was closer to where I worked, but also regularly received catered lunches from pharmaceutical sales representatives.  That was before I got married and was the last time I have ever been hungry.  I think of all of this often because I don’t want to forget what that was like; how it felt physically or emotionally.  Time and distance can make terrible experiences soften but forgetting would be a failure to yourself.

Would I change the past if I could?  In a lot of ways, yes, of course.  But that’s such a ridiculous point.  I can’t, so I choose to be grateful for the compassion it taught me for others, for the intense desire to never let my own children have an experience remotely like that, and the internal voice to do my best to help others when I can.

In the mean time, I’m going to continue living this ridiculous dream life and keep trying to be grateful for all of it.

Thinking about things

0

Man, what a month. I had a birthday and didn’t act like a whiny bitch.  I KNOW, RIGHT?  I am now 38 years old and am determined to…well, not act my age or anything, but maybe hide my immaturity a bit better.  Yeah…

I’m trying to think about this blog going forward.  The PB thing really took the wind out of my sails, so to speak.  I know it’s not ‘ruined’ but it sure feels that way. I really want to restore all the pictures and bring it back to its former glory.  Don’t laugh.  I am even thinking about switching to WordPress pro because it’s pretty darn neat.  I use it for my actual work website and blog and it’s snazzy.  I find it difficult to rationalize the expense, and I can generally rationalize most things I want to spend money on. I don’t want to quit, but I just wonder if it needs a face lift. Start a new blog or just draw a line in the sand and say I’m starting over right here?

There is always something more I want to say, one more thing to joke or whine about.  I’m feeling spread thin, between teaching, working on the social media for the business and blogging for the business which gives me more stress than I like. Mostly because I have a lot of research to do before I can blog somewhat intelligently on topics that I am unfamiliar with just to get a good framework and draft set up before the rest of the technical stuff is added.  We have a full client schedule now, and the Mr. is nice and busy which is encouraging.  Everyday I take a moment to be thankful for the life we have now, and secretly hope that nothing changes from this exact moment in time though I know that’s not realistic in the slightest. That’s not how it works.

I’m doing a terrible ob, by the way. At everything, mostly. Dishes are never done enough, laundry is never done enough, school is never thorough enough, social media presence is for shit, blah, blah, blah. I find myself inordinately excited when I remember to pack ice water for taekwondo or if I remember to practice violin enough. I need to get back on my diet.  I figure as of right now, I have two months before I screw it up with Robin’s birthday. And for all of this, I’m still grateful and happy. Is this what comes with age? Figuring out that things are good, or at least, will be?

It’s late a shit, and I’m obviously not being an adult by playing around on the computer at 0230. I will sleep and I will wake up on time and diet and do dishes and teach and go grocery shopping and go to the library and go to taekwondo and practice violin and clean out the litter box and blog and for fun and profit.

On being productive

2

I am not the type of person that is  self-regimented into being productive each day.  I’d like to blame it on being bipolar II, but I am also lazy and generally unmotivated.  Thankfully, with medicine, I am suspiciously normal.  I still have my lethargic/manic swings but with the miracle of modern science I am very much less so.  On the other hand, medicine can only do so much. Some days are harder than others and that’s frustrating.  But, I’m going off on a tangent.

This weekend, the Mr. and the kids went to Grandma’s and I got some time to myself.  Usually, I eat a lot of junk food, watch tv, play on the computer, and mostly do a lot of nothing.  This weekend was different though.  I was actually productive:

-cleaned my disgusting microwave

-cleaned the disgusting toaster

-cleaned the disgusting double ovens

-cleaned the entire kitchen counter so that I could spray for disgusting bugs

-wrote two business blog posts but they weren’t disgusting

You can see inside and everything!

I am just as surprised as you.  I’m hoping not to have to do any cooking until Thanksgiving.  That seems reasonable.

I get a lot done when I’m home alone for a weekend but I don’t sleep well.  I enjoy the quiet and the ability to focus on what I’m doing with no distractions, but there’s also a bit of a creep factor being in the house alone.  Quite possibly because I read and watch too much horror.  And I’ve never liked sleeping alone.  The cats didn’t even want to lay on the bed–they took the empty house as opportunity to have the Semi-Quarterly Crazy Run.

Not related to this story, but Jake looks like an oil painting.

Regarding the creep factor, I’ve called the police twice over the years regarding concerns while I was home alone.  My house isn’t haunted by any means, but once in a while you will hear things that you shouldn’t.  And random weirdness happens–one day, about 15 minutes after the Mr. had left for a meeting, this car pulled into my driveway…and just sat there.

MIB

I didn’t see the car pull in so I was confused.  I was standing at the window when I took the picture, and opened the door and stood on the front steps trying to see if anyone was in the car.  I wanted to go and yell at them to get out of my driveway and then I remembered I don’t like getting murdered.  The windows were so tinted I couldn’t see into the car so when it just pulled out of the driveway and sped off it really freaked me out. Always an adventure.

I totally forgot to post about Father’s Day! I decided that we’d pay for an Ancestry DNA test because it was on sale and also because the Mr. has been wanting to do this for years.  Who knows how long it will take to get the results, though.  I’ve never been really interested in a DNA test because I didn’t think it would bring up anything interesting.  Asian mutt is what I figure it will be, but honestly, after watching this video it made me a bit more interested.  Skip to 6:28 for Eugene’s results:

The DNA test led into teaching the kids the basics about DNA.  How the traits you can see physically come from your parents, why my dark hair, dark eyed children might have blonde hair, blue eyed children and how portions of our DNA is in every living thing on the planet.  I need to quiz them though, to see if they retained anything.  It wasn’t terribly in depth, but it plants that seed for later discussion.

School is still going pretty well.  Robin is completely adverse to the idea of homework so when it comes time to do any independent work she immediately turns into a puddle of nothing.  You know it’s bad when big brother is warning her about her time management.  Our schedule is pretty good now, and I’m really enjoying the freedom to switch up our plans at whim while still having a decent structure.  Extra curricular activities are keeping us busy, plus the library has been doing some workshops on engineering (Earthquakes and Engineering and Castles and Catapults). Scheduled violin practice at home every day for Robin and sparring practice at the park with Josh on Friday mornings.  Wednesday or Thursday we try to do a few hours at the library for a change of scenery and to give the Mr. some alone time to focus.  Busy is good.  Add to that the regular Mom stuff.  And now add to that social media management and blogging for the business.   I’m trying to write enough content to be able to schedule and plan my posts but seriously, UGH.

The internet is fine, though.

There’s so much more to catch up on!  I could go on and on, but I’m tired but I need to play CivIV.  NEED.  zzzZZZneeeedzzzzz