- Been reading End of Exile by Ben Bova in the evenings. Haven't read it in 25 years, when it was a favorite and I'm loving it as much now. 20:47:44, 2014-08-03
- RT @AllisonThinking: @GrimmGreen Reconsidering Electronic Cigarettes: A Story #ecigs http://t.co/Qxhb2QYruU 06:27:47, 2014-08-04
- Introducing Wesley to Skies of Arcadia (GameCube, not Dreamcast, sadly) – his first RPG. He already loves it :) #thatsmyboy 13:35:45, 2014-08-04
- What Wesley doesn't know is that pushing Pokémon and RPGs (interactive fiction) on him is to get him to enjoy practicing reading o.O 14:41:29, 2014-08-04
- RT @RioRanchoNM: Rio Rancho Public Libraries Expand Online Resources http://t.co/sp9SQGSdzh 16:07:57, 2014-08-04
- We've sporadically seen workers at the abandoned house across the street and this morning the yard light is on! Won't be long now? 05:56:51, 2014-08-05
- RT @vaporjoes: Vapor Joes – Daily Vaping Deals: STILL GOING: EPIC DIY SALE: 1 LITER OF 100MG NIC … http://t.co/KPetJChLXN 06:37:44, 2014-08-05
- I liked a @YouTube video http://t.co/UBhUv7pwRQ Tiramisu Recipe – How to Make Tiramisu – Valentine's Dessert 15:40:10, 2014-08-05
- I liked a @YouTube video http://t.co/55niq8AMWp Ultimate Garlic Peeling Trick — How to Peel 20 Cloves in 20 Seconds! 15:43:49, 2014-08-05
- Hey, wow. Huffington Post article about cloud chasing includes my NM cloud competition video :) http://t.co/8je2aUtiIp #vaping 21:47:36, 2014-08-06
- Standing in a long line. At the post office. To get our mail. Our neighborhood mailbox cluster still isn't fixed. #grrrr #riorancho #abq 11:33:32, 2014-08-07
- Ya know what would be a great thing to go with our Sam's Club membership? A big freezer in the garage. And I'm buying one right now :) 17:24:38, 2014-08-07
- RT @halloweenradio: Halloween is just around the corner and http://t.co/Uz1xsnqsaL awakens again from its deep sleep. http://t.co/764JjyDCEj 10:28:48, 2014-08-08
- New phones weekend. I hate phone shopping – I am no phone geek. We just took the cheapest they had. But they are ten times our old phones. 09:51:54, 2014-08-09
- Finally trying Freddy's Frozen Custard and Steakburgers. We give the food a solid meh. But the malts are everything a malt should be. 17:10:26, 2014-08-09
- First trial run of a new streamlined morning routine that allows us to sleep in until 4:30 went really well! #cautiouslyoptimistic 05:59:41, 2014-07-27
- Making the first gazpacho of the summer today. Topped with honey sesame sticks, served with mozzarella sticks and Naan on the side. 09:54:55, 2014-07-27
- RT @vudufans: The 99c Rental of the Day for 7/29/2014 is: Saving Private Ryan http://t.co/OzmRiWyIDp/s/C3Y4 10:08:59, 2014-07-29
- A horrible sound tore through the neighborhood, the power went out for a second, and the Internet is still out. #riorancho #wtf 07:56:24, 2014-07-30
- RT @vudufans: The 99c Rental of the Day for 7/30/2014 is: Her http://t.co/xvTreJl6Ld/s/AWG3 10:12:52, 2014-07-30
- Buying school supplies. School starts August 18. 12:47:30, 2014-07-30
DIY IN BULK: 1 LITER OF 100MG NIC BASE – $50.00 14:59:34, 2014-07-30
- RT @morgpet: Crazy video of last night's flash flood in downtown #ABQ by @rosalesquique http://t.co/vufAQyiw2h” #nmwx #rain #flooding #albu… 09:14:16, 2014-08-02
- RT @ABQJournal: More stunning pics of Downtown flooding by @rosalesquique Read more: http://t.co/WC6yv95rVe #nmwx #abq http://t.co/TRKf0Nh4… 09:15:17, 2014-08-02
- The mailbox break-ins in #RioRancho finally got around to our neighborhood. Including two #vapemail packages. 12:53:25, 2014-08-02
- I liked a @YouTube video http://t.co/FngZ1f0rkD Mailboxes damaged: Post office won't deliver mail 13:07:20, 2014-08-02
- I liked a @YouTube video http://t.co/ixU1J5Z59H Vandals target mailboxes around Albuquerque 13:09:22, 2014-08-02
- I liked a @YouTube video http://t.co/UyD5c1c17r Heavy rains flood downtown Albuquerque 19:01:55, 2014-08-02
- We’ve been waking up a few minutes before our 345am alarm goes off the last few mornings. I guess we’re becoming conditioned. Well, good. 05:19:13, 2014-05-02
- Terra and I already hit three garage sales, Goodwill, and now breakfast at Weck’s (our first time trying it). Getting up early rulez!!! 10:14:42, 2014-05-02
- Feathers all over the cafe, kitchen, and living room, where a large adult bird lies dead. Christmas Kitty is not my friend this morning. 04:23:32, 2014-05-04
- You die a hero or you live long enough to be a villain. That applies to shows that didn’t last – Firefly, Freaks & Geeks, The Tick, etc.. 10:42:18, 2014-05-04
- Without fail, when I decide to cook a “special” dinner – this time, chicken fried steak for Terra’s birthday – it’s a complete disaster. 18:46:51, 2014-05-05
- When I go overboard to achieve fantastic hopes and disaster ensues, I say I Clarked it up. As in Clark W. Griswold from the Vacation movies. 18:52:39, 2014-05-05
- I made a blog post expanding the explanation of “Clarking things up”… http://t.co/Igldq5NCcT 19:58:20, 2014-05-05
- RT @OnePerfectShot: Perfect shot from DR. STRANGELOVE (1964) DoP: Gilbert Taylor | Dir: Stanley Kubrick http://t.co/GswBxjKg0E 05:39:36, 2014-05-06
- RT @OnePerfectShot: Perfect shot from BLADE RUNNER (1982) DoP: Jordan Cronenweth | Dir: Ridley Scott http://t.co/Rwg9NxuM59 17:52:05, 2014-05-06
- You know what I can’t stand about most modern #AudioTheater? It’s mostly silly comedic tongue-in-cheek stuff. It’s hard to take seriously. 08:49:20, 2014-05-07
To Clark something up is to dream up an improbable fantasy situation for an event of special importance and then, when it doesn’t work out the way you fantasized, you do not accept the reality but put even more effort into it to try to achieve the fantasy at all costs until multiple disasters have transpired as unintended consequences of the overboard actions. The special event that would have probably been very enjoyable if left as was has now been ruined or at least made to be much less enjoyable than it would have been.
I have named this after Clark W. Griswold from the National Lampoon’s Vacation series of movies, of course. We’ve seen him do it to vacations and holidays. It probably would have been great until he tried to make it perfect. And now, it’s not exactly ruined, it’s just… all Clarked up.
I find myself guilty of this behavior frequently. So often, in fact, that I’ve thought of this expression for it. Common uses are as follows…
“I’m Clarking this whole day.”
“No, baby, I’m not gonna Clark it up this time.”
“Well, I’ve Clarked this whole situation beyond repair.”
Today, it was the special dinner I wanted to make for Terra’s birthday.
I decided to make her favorite – chicken fried steak with mashed potatoes and green beans. I’ve never made chicken fried steak before. And I’ve never pan fried anything breaded that came out good. That should have stopped me. But, rather than back down to reasonable expectations, I wanted to give her a GREAT birthday. She even suggested we go out. But, no.
With that attitude, I had taken the first step in Clarking it all up.
What followed is typical of what I described above…
I waited until little more than an hour before dinner to read the recipe, realized this was going to be much more difficult than I thought and I didn’t even have the cookware to pull it off right. But, I had a dream and would not be discouraged by reality. My baby would not have to settle for anything less than my best.
All the pans didn’t even fit all at once on the stove. But, I tried to work with that.
Then there were fresh green beans. I don’t think I’ve ever even eaten anything but canned or frozen, let alone ever cooked them. When I saw the trouble I was in, I should have just cooked them in water. But, no, it’s my true love’s birthday! I said I’d sautee fresh green beans in butter and garlic and that’s what I’m gonna do! Wait, I don’t have another pan. Well, I’ll use a pot. It doesn’t fit on the stove because it’s already too crowded? Rubbish, I’ll make it work somehow.
Btw, she also has probably never eaten fresh either. And she likes the canned or frozen. Especially the way I always make them. What she thought of as best wasn’t good enough for me in full Clark W. Griswold mode.
Et cetera, et cetera…
I’m still kind of clueless about cooking and this was one of my most ambitious meals I’ve ever tried. (I’m not even gonna talk about the gravy – also a first attempt ever.) The idea of trying such a feat FOR A SPECIAL OCCASION should have sounded like a bad idea. If I’ve learned anything over the years, it’s that I should cook what I am good at for special occasions. I should try new recipes on a regular day. Especially when I’ve never successfully cooked anything similar.
Dinner wasn’t totally ruined. I did a lot of angry yelling at myself and the food and the grease splatters and burned food and stuff stuck in the pan. So, the mood wasn’t exactly festive when I finally served it. And it was better than just edible. But, it wasn’t great. It wasn’t worth the huge greasy kitchen mess I now have to clean up. It wasn’t a total disaster. It was just… all Clarked up.
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- Very excited that I’ll be getting some new vacuum attachments soon.
Sigh. This is what my life has become. 10:34:49, 2014-04-28
- If you knew how good my first real enchiladas attempt just turned out, you’d be at the door demanding some. 17:10:41, 2014-04-28
- This week’s This American Life segment about Hospice is powerful stuff. I’ve lived it – they got it all right. http://t.co/cgIsgrKozF 17:57:16, 2014-04-28
- RT @SteveVape: New on SKVW: FDA regulation of e-cigarettes: huge costs, little or no benefit, says CASAA (Press… http://t.co/wD6B5hPbfK #… 05:44:30, 2014-04-29
- RT @mrtonylee: So apparently ex-MOST HAUNTED medium Derek Acorah thought a #AskDerekAcorah session would be a good idea. The questions are … 07:45:44, 2014-04-29
- Jeg har føjet en video til en playliste på @YouTube http://t.co/C8HbxfyEpb TROOPS – A Star Wars Fan Film 06:02:49, 2014-04-30
- My kitchen is my office. #househusband 15:30:53, 2014-04-30
- The first programs written in BASIC were RUN fifty years ago today. My dad bought me the “Beginning BASIC for Kids” book in 1984 – I was 11. 08:07:55, 2014-05-01
- @dubiasiti Flying Star. Nice. I recommend Americana breakfast burrito. And the Frio frozen coffee drinks if you’re into that sorta thing. in reply to dubiasiti 08:42:20, 2014-05-01
- Shopping day. Sprouts, Sam’s, Walmart. Still haven’t finalized my meal plan for the week nor, therefore, made the shopping list. 09:57:22, 2014-05-01
- Btw, I woke up to a dishwasher that died overnight. It got about halfway through then quit. Now all it does is repeatedly fill and drain. 10:03:34, 2014-05-01
- (Now I’m afraid I’ll miss the repairman calling me if I get in the shower. This is no time for phone tag.) 10:06:57, 2014-05-01
- I liked a @YouTube video http://t.co/v9WM5hcjVb Heavens Gate Cult Inside Story Full Documentary 17:31:10, 2014-05-01
- I liked a @YouTube video http://t.co/JYZP9l2RVW APS Ecigarette Students Punished 17:32:23, 2014-05-01
- I liked a @YouTube video http://t.co/DmELpqgpPo Northern eXposure – Holling Sings Ave Maria To Shelly On Christmas Eve 18:12:39, 2014-05-01
- A local TV “news” story used the terms “smoking an #ecig” and says it “vaporizes tobacco”. Even my 8yo son knows more than the media. 18:47:26, 2014-05-01
- A much beloved sub-genre of mine… Top 10 Submarine Movies: https://t.co/iUa94UiaL5 17:39:38, 2014-04-17
- RT @vaporjoes: Vapor Joes – Daily Vaping Deals: AMMUNITION: EPA & FDA – VAPOR HARMLESS TO CHILDREN http://t.co/HLX7wyYGDa 21:47:54, 2014-04-17
- Attn Ed Chigliak (#NorthernExposure)… SF museum will screen Star Wars in Navajo language: http://t.co/5PFP0obP41 21:52:43, 2014-04-17
- Up at 345 on our day off. Sigh… Trying the theory that a consistent sleep schedule is healthiest. And adding PRN afternoon naps. 04:07:09, 2014-04-18
- RT @RamCoban: “There are always two people in every picture: the photographer and the viewer.”
Ansel Adams 04:43:11, 2014-04-18
- How Many Of These Movies By Female Directors Have You Seen? http://t.co/nXdxpLOmAS 04:53:58, 2014-04-19
- It’s the weekend. And we’re off. We did the math and this is the first full weekend we’ve had in over 16 MONTHS. We love this new schedule! 08:38:24, 2014-04-19
- RT @WhatsTheHarm: What’s the harm in chiropractic? Half a BILLION dollars a year spent on pseudoscience. http://t.co/YY8HNxPN92 by @StevenS… 06:55:20, 2014-04-21
- RT @vudufans: The 99c Rental of the Day for 04/21/2014 is: Office Space – http://t.co/IgxwMlQyYx 10:05:13, 2014-04-21
- Rearranging my coffee bar. I do this every few months. Sometimes I spend hours at it. And I always end up putting it back the way it was. 11:06:52, 2014-04-21
- RT @RationalWiki: 10,000+ hits on “No, it’s not all about Ishtar” in the past few days. http://t.co/jekpoGd4mJ Happy Zombie Messiah Day! 14:01:11, 2014-04-21
- Making this tonight http://t.co/CCiMxWKxJf First time in quite a while. Noticed I posted this recipe a year ago today. 14:39:10, 2014-04-21
- Wesley kickin’ it with the Alibi in our cafe room http://t.co/z04kSr9Zno 18:55:42, 2014-04-21
- Our cafe room. Reading a novel, Terra on her Nook, Wesley reading the Alibi. Tonight starts the return of evening family quiet time :) 19:00:59, 2014-04-21
- 10 months later, Terra got her sched change. 3 8s, 1 12 so we’ll have SIX evenings a week together as a family AND she’s off Fri, Sat, Sun! 09:29:00, 2014-04-09
- One last Thurs-Sat 6-6. Then some weird days and new schedule starts on the 21st. When we’ll be getting up at 345a 7 days a week. #nurselyfe 05:13:57, 2014-04-10
- RT @RELEVANT: When expressing affection is no longer the “norm” in a marriage, it’s something you must make a priority. http://t.co/1fy0bv4… 06:11:14, 2014-04-10
- RT @inijames: Are electronic cigarettes bad for you? The shocking truth.: The answer is probably yes. But if you change the … http://t.co… 06:53:21, 2014-04-10
- Wow. I’ve gotten a lot of stuff done already today. I’d better pace myself :P 13:38:19, 2014-04-10
- My fierce protests are clearly futile. Winter, my favorite season, is obviously over. I guess I’ll dust off the shorts and sandals. 16:42:12, 2014-04-10
- RT @WhatsTheHarm: Everything you need to know about World Homeopathy Awareness Week is right here: http://t.co/HDzOAa1rSs #whaw #QEDcon #N… 21:03:37, 2014-04-10
- RT @RELEVANT: Leaving work at the office is now mandatory in France. The country has banned checking work email after 6pm. http://t.co/MPHn… 21:05:11, 2014-04-10
- RT @TheFoodLab: The key to a good chicken stir fry starts with slicing the chicken right. Here’s how you do it. http://t.co/AlWSZygyfi 21:07:57, 2014-04-10
- The Giant gas station on 528… RT @RioRanchoNM: Credit Card Scam http://t.co/zjbooqIhVb 21:04:52, 2014-04-11
- RT @RELEVANT: When we get physically ill, we know we need help. The Church needs to have the same attitude about mental health. http://t.co… 21:11:58, 2014-04-11
- Last day of this schedule. No more 3 12s (that are actually 13s or more) in a row after today. #nurselyfe 04:02:54, 2014-04-12
- @opusmcfeely Damn skippy. But 12 nursing home hours has turned out to be a whole different world of unpleasantness than 12 hospital hours. in reply to opusmcfeely 05:03:33, 2014-04-12
- Cleaned the dust off my bicycle, inflated the tires, put a much better seat on it. Think I’ll take it for a spin. 08:03:57, 2014-04-12
- Couldn’t decide between listening to theology stuff or philosophy stuff while I do housework so I put on RC Sproul’s podcast and get both :) 10:22:41, 2014-04-12
- RT @AudioDramaWiki: New article: The History of Old Radio http://t.co/dx1e5UFlTo 21:22:21, 2014-04-12
- RT @evidentpb: How powerful this would be if the US could only learn this. RT @aubreynb “All the moral laws cannot change the heart of men.… 21:24:56, 2014-04-12
- RT @LosGriego: People ask why we don’t homeschool our kids, no need to overspiritualize, it is simple, we don’t want to. #parenting #Parent… 08:48:35
- Finally re-calibrated our Baratza for a good press grind – it was easier than we thought :) #homebarista #coffee http://t.co/HpNMtw67tg 09:02:09
- Updated my #homecafe page http://t.co/mcigVARkri with a couple new drink pics, current info. #homebarista #coffee 10:15:38
- Cinnamon pecan waffles, baked breakfast burritos w/ chile cheese sauce, press coffee. Our weekly big breakfast :) #househusband #homecookin 11:57:35
- Family night! Made burgers, listening to The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, Tertiary Phase, episode 2 over dinner, gonna watch a movie. 17:55:42
- Watched Ender's Game. Just wow. Loved it. But I grew up on the books. I think it was too rushed to be effective for the uninitiated. 20:37:50
- @Thorobredz Didn't tweet about it o.O in reply to Thorobredz 21:23:18
Tonight (Wednesday), Terra, Wesley, and I played PSO together. I’m trying to make this a weekly family night thing. He is 8, I know he can figure this out. The basics anyway.
We got another 16 photos printed, framed, and hung. A few added to the collection by Wesley’s room, but most of them start the new project on the wall by the dinner table. Both look great. I should have taken a pic to post.
Tuesday, we went again to the home fellowship we tried last week. It has a good sized crowd, it’s close, it’s early enough in the evening to work with our early bedtime, they have hang out time after study. So, it’s all sorts of stuff we need a home fellowship to be.
We are still trying to fit Ingress into our daily life. The best we’ve managed is maybe a half hour sidetrack here and there on our way to something else. BUT, we got new batteries for our phones! So we can venture out on foot now :)
We finished season two of the Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy. We’ll get to season three eventually but now we’ve started season two of Second Shift – probably my favorite “podio theater” we know. We never got around to the final two episodes so this is good.
My new cookbook finally arrived on Monday and I’m very excited. On the same day, we were in Sam’s Club (Noel got us a membership!) and Terra came across a cookbook she bought me – maybe because she was tired of hearing me complain that the one I ordered hadn’t shown up yet. So, I ended up with two cookbooks on one day. These are the first cookbooks I’ve ever owned. I don’t think I’m doing “bachelor cooking” anymore but I still know so little. I still want to trade with someone – you teach me all you know about cooking and I’ll teach you everything I know about coffee.
Anyway, I asked on /r/cooking what a good first cookbook would be and I sifted through the many suggestions, did some research, and went with How to Cook Everything – The Basics.
Now, I just need time to sit down with them!
I’ve spent probably 30 hours on this. And I still don’t like it.
I like the other two vids I made but I just can’t get this one right. I’ve edited and re-edited and re-edited – I even started completely over once – and now I’m just abandoning it and hoping it’s not as bad as it seems to me.
But, considering it’s the second week of January and no matter what I do, I’m still not satisfied with it, I’m just walking away and posting it as is…