Tuesday, July 20, 2010

I really meant for this week to be the week that I started posting more again. Instead I got a fever. Sigh. It wasn't until I went to sleep at 8pm Friday night, then woke up aching and feverish the next morning that I came to the brilliant deduction that the crushing tiredness of the past couple days was from getting sick. And then I got up and dragged myself to work. The B went to work Sunday while I attempted to do as much parenting prone as possible. It's times like these that I really really wish we had family nearby. I wouldn't dream of asking a relative to do fulltime daycare (at least not for free), but someone to dump the kids on for the afternoon when we're sick? What a wonderful thought.

I've been in a pattern of feeling okayish after taking ibuprofen, which brings the fever down, then feeling rotten as the fever goes back up, but I think this evening I'm finally fever-free. And thank goodness, because while B stayed home from work today (I had the night from hell last night, thanks to our lovely children), he can't keep staying home.


Anyway, to get off the self-pity portion of the post, we've been watching The Next Food Network Star lately. This is the third season I've watched and the first one where I've really felt invested in who won.

One of the problems I've always had with the show is that it's constructed in a way to find someone with a wide range of skills, which prejudices it towards a certain type of generalized, bland chef, often someone who's just like someone already on the network. If I could point to one area I think Food Network is really lacking (well, besides, you know, actual cooking shows), is a lack of shows from different non-European ethnicities since they stopped showing the original Iron Chef. The closest they come is various Southern cooking shows and Southwestern cooking as done by a white guy. As much as I love Alton Brown, I would love to, say, learn about Asian cooking from an actual Asian.

So two years ago, I was rooting for the Indian chef, whose downfall was being given fish, something she had never cooked before. Now she really didn't seem like real winner material and she could have handled that challenge with a lot more grace, but it didn't seem like a good way to get a good balance of shows to choose new people based on Iron Chef-style challenges. Last year, it was the Korean chef I was interested in, and it seemed for quite a while like she could go the distance, mostly because she had a background in general catering. But she showed enough personality flaws that I couldn't truly disagree when she washed out.

This year, though, Aarti looks like she could really go the distance. She seems to have just the right combination of the ability to cook and a great personality. I'm just hoping after the bad week she had this week that she manages to pull it together and doesn't lose confidence, because hers is the first show that I would actually like to watch.


File under "Awkward conversations with your five-year-old":

K has been really interested in family relationships this summer, and has been verifying with us multiple times that her grandparents are our parents. So I suppose it shouldn't have come as a surprise when she asked me for the first time where my father was. I've told her about him before, and even said that he was dead, but she's never been very interested in what that meant. Until this time. I think it went fairly well as a first conversation, but not as well as it might have because I surprised myself by choking up, something I haven't done in a long, long time.

But the awkward conversation that really surprised me this week was when she asked me what my medications were for. I didn't have a problem explaining the medication for the rapid heartbeat, and even managed a decent explanation of Metformin. But for the life of me I couldn't come up with a child-appropriate explanation of antidepressants without making it sound like there's a magic happy pill for when you're sad, and that's not really the message I want to pass on about either antidepressants or dealing with unhappiness. Hopefully I can avoid the conversation for another couple years until she's capable of a bit of nuance.

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