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11:09 a.m. - 2010-01-20

Apparently Ina Garten's smoke alarms aren't as touchy as mine. During my blob time on the couch last week she had a show on high heat roasting. Specifically meats. I had this big hunk of eye round in the freezer so yesterday I thawed that puppy and figured I'd try it Ina's way. One of the things about eye round is its lack of marbling, you overcook an eye round and you have shrunken dusty leather. Ina swore that doing an eye round at super high heat would seal in the juice and leave the middle tender and rare and oh so yummy.

The theory is sound enough, at least according to my understanding of kitchen thermodynamics. It was going fine for a while, but I was keeping a VERY close watch on that meat anyhow, I can't afford to ruin a hunk of beef that'll be two nights' dinners and a couple sandwiches besides. Then the smoke alarms went off. The oven was reasonably clean, even at 500 degrees there wasn't any visible smoke, but the electronic fire watchdogs howled anyhow. The shrieking alarms rattled me but good. I got it all sorted out and even at a lower temp the meat was done in short order. Then like a doofus I tried to pull it out of the oven with just one hand. To make it worse the oven mitt had a bald spot in its insulation. My finger fried, my wrist gave way and while at least I had brains enough not to grab a searingly hot glass pan with 4lbs of sizzling meat rolling around it with my other (bare) hand, the resultant mess of meat drippings everywhere, the scorched finger, and the near miss of dumping the dinner on the floor and probably shattering my fave pyrex roaster in the process freaked me out even worse.

We got through dinner and before the table was even cleared Mick and I got into another blazing row. Shooed the kid upstairs to his room. In hissing whispers and low growls Mick and I tore at each other for the umpty hundredth time this week. As if you hadn't figured out by my silence on the subject, things are not good. The future is uncertain and that's really as much as I want to say about it.

Yesterday was not a good day.

The muscle soreness I thought I'd cleverly avoided showed up, mostly because I sleep with my arms clenched and tucked beneath my chin. My poor overworked biceps and triceps are very, very angry. As are my glutes and quads. Not skipping the gym tomorrow though. I'll concentrate on my abs and do a soft workout on the ouchie places, just to get them stretched out and a little fresh blood pumped into them. I promised myself that I'd do a workout on my birthday. Seems like a positive thing to do on one's 47th birthday.

Right now I'm outta here for (huge surprise) a meeting at Wolf's school. Just the usual monthly gig, no emergencies. And while you can't ever really know what's going on in a kid's mind, Wolf and I have done A LOT of talking about the tense situation between me and Mick. Not the ins and outs, that's not his business nor is it a 12 year old's job to be Mom's relationship confidant, but making sure HE'S okay enough and not worried and upset. Wolf seems to be okay and isn't acting out at school or wandering around the house like a sad little cloud.

As for me, I'm trying not to spin out. The best reward of middle age so far is the perspective. The storms and end of the world shit of youth has given way to a longer view and (hopefully) informed and rational decision making.

Older, sadder, wiser, and sanguine. ~LA

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