Skrip - tyur' - i - ent: adj. Possessing the violent desire to write.


#107 In which our hero chews the fat.

My wife, whom I love desperately, forces me to ... do things. Things I'm not proud of. Things that I generally don't talk about. Things like... bad reality TV.

There, I said it. Oh, the shame!

But really, it's all her fault. I mean, do you really think I wanted to watch the season finale to "The Littlest Groom" ? No, I did not. And did I want to become totally engrossed in "Project Runway" ? Again, I did not.

It should be clear, I am not a strong man. But, Jesus, YOU try walking through a room in which there is a TV broadcasting a dating contest in which women of all shapes and sizes are competing -- COMPETING! -- for the affections of a midget! Compelling TV? You bet your ass it was. And you know what? The "littlest groom" picked the midget girl! Over the full-size super model! Are you kidding me! It would be as if I was in a contest and my choices where regular, attractive woman, or regular attractive woman with four boobs! How often do you get an opportunity like that?!

But, I digress.

My point is that it was totally not my fault that I got sucked into the 2-hour season finale of "The Biggest Loser" last night. I have never watched the show before, and neither had The Scientist, to the best of my knowledge ... and didn't have any interest in it. You know what I'm talking about... a bunch of fat people are sent to a "ranch" with sadistic personal trainers and whoever loses the most weight (the "biggest loser," get it?) wins a bunch of cash. And apparently there were challenges ala "Survivor" and people got voted out or whatever... I don't really know.

When I first heard of this show it made my a little queasy... as I've said before, I'm a bit of a fattist. I've never been significantly overweight in my life, so I just can't relate. I'm sure it's hard and all, but lord, when you can't even walk up the stairs because you're so huge, you might want to think about passing on that second Big Mac.

Hmm... is that unkind? I'm sure I'll be punished by the powers-that-be for that remark. Maybe my tubby babies will grow up to be equally tubby adults. Horrors!

Anyway, I was fascinated by the show last night. These people lost HUNDREDS of pounds! And they looked good! Do you know how some people are fat, then they lose the weight, but still have a fat look about them? (Carnie Wilson, I'm looking at you). Not these people. They all looked fantastic. Except the first girl voted out. She lost a sum total of 16 pounds during the course of the show. Come on! I didn't see it, but I think I can guess why you where the first voted out.

And I'll admit, I'm sure I was more interested that I might otherwise have been because one of the three finalists was a hot girl.

This entire freak show was hosted by Caroline Rhea -- who I think is pretty funny. Unfortunately, for the life of me I could not stop thinking of her as Charlotte Rae. But how sad is it that she's hosting this show? Clearly the producers wanted an actress who is overweight to, I dunno, put the contestants at ease or whatever. I imagine that contract negotiations went something like this:
PRODUCERS: Caroline, we want you to host our new show ... we think you'd be just perfect for it!
CAROLINE RHEA: Why do you think that?
P: Well, erm, because of your sparkling personality! And your witty repartee!
CR: This has nothing to do with my weight, does it?
P: Wha--? Where'd that come from? Your weight? That's just crazy talk! NO! It's your personality that we love!
CR: ...
P: Your spark! Your charm!
CR: ...
P: Your way with people!
CR: ...
P: ...
P: Look, you'll never have to get on the scale yourself.
CR: ...
P: And we'll pay you in Ding-Dongs.
OH! And the next season of "Project Runway" starts next week!

So, just to reiterate, my enthusiasm? All The Scientist's fault.


#106 In which our hero does not enjoy a meal.

It would appear that I am completely unable to successfully cook a Thanksgiving Turkey. Let me be clear, I have successfully cooked turkeys AND successfully cooked food on Thanksgiving... but when they meet, it's murda!

Last year I deep-fried a turkey for Thanksgiving. I've done this many times before, and it's always FANTASTIC. There's little that beats deep-fried turkey. Even The Scientist, who, as a rule, doesn't like turkey, LOVES deep fried turkey. But, last year, I kinda forgot how long to cook a bird and looked up a recipe that told me four minutes per pound, which sounded about right. Of course, The Scientist later confirmed that the correct cooking time is three minutes per pound. A minute doesn't sound like much, but when you're cooking a 20lbs. bird that's twenty minutes longer in the oil than it should be. The results were terrible... dry, flavorless. I felt all the more like an asshole because I talked up the delights of deep fried turkey to my in-laws so much. Oh yeah, I was cooking dinner for The Scientist's family and my family.

This year, I passed on the deep-fryer in favor of a plain ole' cooked in the oven bird. Now, Mom (who, I should mention, has never cooked a turkey that wasn't mind-blowingly tender and delicious, far as I know) always cooked her bird in a roster bag. I've never done that, but figured it couldn't hurt. After all, what's it do? Concentrate the flavors and keep the meat moist, right?


What it does is speed up the cooking time. I was planning on a five-hour cook, but it only took two. And here's the best part: I had my handy probe thermometer in the meat, ready to beep at me once it reached the optimal temperature of 165 degrees. But, the temperature was climbing so quickly that I decided that the bag was causing it to give a false reading. I think my exact words where, "this fucking thing isn't working!" before turning it off.

So, by the time I realized that the damn bag was speeding things along, I turned it back on to find the internal temperature at 199 degrees. Arrgh!

But, it wasn't horrible. I brined it before hand, and that helped retain a hint of moisture in the meat.

However, these are really just examples of the symptoms, not the real problem. The real problem is that I cannot cook a decent meal for my mother. I've tried and failed, on several occasions. Don't ask me why... maybe it's the pressure of cooking for the woman that cooked for my father, me and my three sisters for so long -- without screwing up the Thanksgiving turkey ONCE!

Next year: if anyone wants to come to the house it's Chinese take-out or nuthin'.


#105 In which our hero talks about #2.

It occurs to me that I haven't written much about my younger daughter, Macey.

There she is. If your connection speed just dropped significantly, it's from the strain of your CPU trying to render my butterball of a baby. It would appear that The Scientist and I only know how to make big babies.

Now here's the thing about my beefy baby: I like her. And I feel slightly guilty about it. Let me explain.

When Lily was born I, of course, knew nothing about being a father. But, my expectation was that I would be suddenly and overwhelmingly flooded with emotion for this little person.

But I wasn't.

I mean, I was very happy to see her arrive safe and sound, and I was relieved that she was healthy and had all her fingers and toes... but that overpowering bond of love just wasn't there. And I worried about it. I thought I must be a bad dad. How could I be indifferent to the life I just helped bring into the world?

But, over time (and to be truthful, a short amount of it) my feelings started to change. Maybe because Lily spent most of her waking hours in her mother's arms I didn't make that initial connection... or maybe when she got a little older and actually started to laugh and smile at me... for whatever reason, it wasn't long before I started to feel that love for her. And now? Jeez... the other day, out of the blue, Lily gave me a hug and said, "Dada's my friend" and I damn near cried. I love that girl more than I thought I had a capacity to love.

But her sister... well, my feelings for her are much like my first feelings for Lily. She's okay, I like her. But when I compare my gigantic love for Lily to my middling affection for Macey I feel more like a bad dad than ever. But, I know it's going to change.

Matter of fact, it's already started to change.

Macey's been sick for a while now. Her doctor says it's just a cold, and it can take weeks for it to clear up completely. He assured us it's nothing to worry about. Then, last week, Macey was really fussy and inconsolable one night. The Scientist, fearing the worst, rushed her off to the emergency room.

And once she got there, Macey let out a big, wet burp and calmed down right away. The stinker.

But, a few days later she spiked a 102 degree fever. The Scientist arranged to take her to the doctor. This was late in the day, and I took off work early and drove up there to meet them at the doctor's office.

And here's the thing: there was a dumb amount of traffic in my way. And as I sat there, not moving, I started to fret. Kids DIE from high fevers. High fevers can be a symptom of something much worse. Macey's only five months old, for chrissake!

So I had myself worked up to a pretty good lather by the time I got there. Of course, the doctor checked her out and nothing was life threatening, and we took her home.

But, it would appear that I'm not so indifferent toward daughter #2 as I thought.

Good lord... I'm already wrapped tight around Lily's finger... what's going to happen when I'm wrapped around both of 'em?