A Phone Interview, a New Oven & Downton Abbey

You ever have one of those weeks where so much has happened that, theoretically, you should have plenty of writing fodder, but when you sit down to actually write, you quickly eliminate 90% of your material? You know, because some of it is off limits, and some of it is best not mentioned in case someday the small people’s friends find out about your blog, and some of it involves some of your recent Julius Caesar lesson plans you’ve left at school yet again? (These will be forthcoming, I promise, as will a post on a guided imagery activity for Lord of the Flies.)

Most of you can relate to this last reason especially, I’m guessing.

Nevertheless, I’ll plow forward with the week’s mentionable highlights.

For a writing assignment last week, I conducted my first-ever phone interview. I was really looking forward to doing it for one reason alone: I can now check “conducted a phone interview” off my Things I’ve Done list. Because, in my heart, I feel that someday, someone, perhaps a game show host with a million dollars or more at his or her disposal, will ask the question, “Have you ever, as a quasi-writer, done a phone interview?” and I will be able to answer in the affirmative.

I take great comfort in random, likely meaningless accomplishments, because in the end, you never really know, you know?

Also, I feel so cliché mentioning this, but the person I interviewed was in LA (where she lives) getting a mani-pedi during our interview.

Sometimes, I almost impress myself with my own achievements.

In other news, after over a year of living with a new oven inexplicably unable to hold a temperature, after well over a dozen visits from multiple repair people during which some parts were replaced twice, my old oven was sent to a place where it can no longer plague my sanity. Glory be, in its stead appeared a new oven, one that doesn’t drop its temperature by 50% randomly and of its own volition.

Y’all, morning by morning new mercies I see.

Y’all. After over a year of being able to bake only small, flat things that really don’t need to rise, I can bake, why, anything at all! I’ve already tried Comfortably Domestic’s popovers again, and it’s true, they do “pop over” in a proper oven!

And now that the gates of heaven have opened wide, I’m starting to spend my evenings daydreaming about breads, deliberating over what kinds I’d like to make next. Do you know how many bread recipes there are out there in the blogosphere? I’m like Icarus, my computer ablaze with bread posts, ready to drop all teaching, writing, parenting, and citizenship responsibilities just to soar into the land of freshly-baked bread. Fly away from the bread posts, wax-winged Island Mom, fly away!

Last weekend, shortly after the new oven arrived, Baby-girl and I did have a legitimate excuse to defer other responsibilities and bake something when my son was asked to bring to school a food item that related to part of our ethnic heritage. Naturally, LCB and I took the opportunity to dialogue about our radically different ethnic backgrounds with queries of, “Who, outside of your people that is, would ever eat that?”

And yet, in the end, the day was mine, as I received lavish compliments on my scones from several second graders with highly-developed palates. This may have been due in small part to the extra portion of dark chocolate chips that I accidentally (on my honor, for real this time) dropped in the batter. But mainly, it was their heightened ability to recognize baking greatness.

Finally, I have a warning for my fellow Downton Abbey devotees, particularly those like me, also smitten late in the game and still watching episodes for the first time. In summary, don’t try to multitask while watching it. One simply cannot give due attention to the costumes, the merits of corsets (however slight), and Dame Maggie Smith’s witty one-liners, nor can one ponder the long-term implications of the three or four potential marriages/alliances currently on the table in any given episode and still be expected to notice the bottle of wine one is attempting to uncork has, in fact, a screw cap.

LCB’s still befuddled over this, my latest blunder.

But, our compliments to the vintner.

2 Comment

  1. Eli in MN says: Reply

    Congrats on the new oven! Best of luck in your baking endeavors. I just had to comment because, 1) I completely forgot about our Lord of the Flies exchange (and actually, about Lord of the Flies altogether), and 2) your Downton Abbey reference. I just scanned the December issue of Real Simple, and there is an article giving advice on starting conversations in a social setting. One of the tips is to bring up Downton Abbey. So, a belated ‘what November/December magazines have taught me’. Happy Thanksgiving!

    1. Interesting idea for a topic of conversation. It beats talking about the weather, although I guess you’d have to gauge your audience a bit. Now, how can you possibly forget about Lord of the Flies? It is, after all, a microcosm of adult society.;) Actually, that would almost be a fun game for me. I could see how many times I could weave LOTF into conversations. I might get a reputation for being a bit eccentric about the whole thing if I persisted, but I bet I could totally pull it off.

      Sorry; your comment was intially filtered and I just found it now, so I’ll wish you a Happy New Year!

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