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10:45 a.m. - 2011-11-16
The Staff at School and of Life.

Been on a YA spree. Re-reads of old favorites. Currently 'The Witch of Blackbird Pond'. My fave anecdote about this book is how several years ago during one of those hysteric book purging frenzies the crazy Christians go on (this one started because of Harry Potter) some jackass woman down in South Carolina demanded that 'The Witch of Blackbird Pond' be pulled out of every school library in the state. She'd never read it, the word 'Witch' in the title was enough for her.

The irony? 'The Witch of Blackbird Pond' isn't about magic, it's about the dangers of religious intolerance.


An odd thing happened this morning. I'd gotten up to use the bathroom and give Mick some kisses before he left for work. I'm still not sleeping well and I'd just finished telling Mick I was going back to bed when my phone rang. It was Wolf. He'd called to tell me there was a blackout at his school and if the power wasn't restored soon they were going to send everyone home. What was odd was my being right next to my phone when Wolf called. Usually my phone is lost somewhere in the scrud on my desk, but last night I'd actually remembered to put it on its charger in the kitchen. And just having boldly announced I was going to do something as slackerish as going back to bed my kid calls to say he might be home within the next hour or two. No sleep for Mommy.

Not that I need to be up for him and meet his bus, he's a big boy, but after a couple disasters with forgetting it when it was crucial he have his key Mick took Wolf's house key away from him. Ergo the front door has to be left unlocked when Wolf needs to get in and there's no way I could go upstairs and sleep knowing that the front door was unlocked. When I'm here the doors are usually unlocked anyhow, but I'm awake and able to deal with anything. Sleeping in an open house is different. Not like I live in a hotbed of crime, I just don't like the idea of being unconscious and someone getting the drop on me. Besides, Princess would go off if Wolf came home at such an odd hour. Being wakened by the dog barking always puts me in a panic. Disaster! Thieves! Bad dudes! It's just easier to stay up this morning. Kid or no kid.

I watched 'The Right Stuff' last night. I'd not seen it before. I do like movies about the space program ('From The Earth To The Moon' is my favorite mini-series ever) and have no idea how I missed watching 'The Right Stuff' for so long. I see why this movie created such a buzz when it came out, what a terrific film! I like all the actors, wives and astronauts both. And it was cool how the wives' stories were woven in there too. I know I couldn't be a test pilot or astronaut's wife, it's hard enough sending Mick to work every day with the spectre of the next Dylan Klebold lurking around in my head. Because I know one thing, if a kid started shooting up the school Mick would stop the kid or die trying. In his 16 years there Mick's taken down kids with knives, kids wielding baseball bats, waded into brawls, put himself in harm's way to stop buttheads speeding in the parking lots, and a kid with a gun would be no different. Mick will keep the students safe.

The kids know this too. Mick doesn't hassle them with all the nitpicky shit the paranoid administration imposes (Call 911! There's a kid using an iPod in the cafeteria!), but if there's real trouble Mick is there. He's there before it starts more often then not. Part instinct, part being plugged into the rumor mill, Mick's stopped hundreds of fights before the kids ever got past the name-calling stage. And I almost pity the kids who've put hands on or threatened their girlfriends, Mick has zero tolerance for a guy who frightens or hurts a girl. In Mick's book no crime is worse than that and he makes sure the abusive bullying git gets his. A male who'd harm a female is beneath contempt in Mick's world. Mick's intrinsic gallantry is woven into his DNA.

In a screeching turn of topic, any hints for a novice bread baker? Yeast bread. I'm mostly interested in challah and baguettes and such like that. I can see the appeal of those dense lumpy breads made with cracked wheat and nuts and fruits, but I prefer light breads. Not a pumpernickel or 7-grain fan. I don't have or want a bread machine. I want to do this old school. Just for the fun of it.

So, who's got the skills? Tips, recipes, tricks, recommendations on brands and types of flour? Success stories and warnings? I have the time. Got an uncannily accurate oven. There's something so cozy and comforting about making bread for my family I can't resist.

As always, many thanks in advance. ~LA

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