At nine-thirty tonight, I thought, "Gee, I wish it wasn't still Gary's birthday month, I wouldn't have had to watch Men in Black for the last two hours, especially since I wanted to wax the cheese."
And then I thought, what if I were called upon to explain my whereabouts? "Well, your honor, I was going to wax my cheese but it was my husband's birthday month."
Strange how these things sound normal.
I go to bed before Gary. We've adapted well, and Gary can watch TV late into the night without bothering me. He has a pair of wireless earphones that he wears and the noise goes right into his head and doesn't bother me at all.
As I'm falling asleep, sometimes I hear noises coming out of the TV room. If you click the "NightGary" link below and listen closely (you'll have to wait past a moment of silence) you might be able to hear the words "this iced tea is too strong," which is a quote from an episode of 30 Rock he recently enjoyed.
Don't worry, it's safe for work.
Head Cold has entered the fever and vomiting phase. I take my temperature 4 times and hour when I'm sick. Gary refuses to ever take his temp.
I'm at 100. I feel proud. Nice round number.
Working from home is a nice distraction when you have a cold. I developed an entire course just today.
Ugh, this head code ih awfud. I am certain the Cheddar is influencing me. Influence! Influenza! There's a joke there. Make it yourself. I'm too sick. How sick am I? I'm too sick to go to work tomorrow and hear the next chapter in the Saga of Friend #3 Finds Her Bio-Parents. (I'm still hoping she'll type it up so we can all enjoy.)
However, my drugged sleep schedule allows me to tend the cheddar cheese. I am supposed to turn it every 12 hours. But, every three hours it summons the strength to throw off the twenty pounds of free weights. One side rises up and the opposite sinks and then there are two ten pound weights rolling about.
In fifteen minutes I get to take the weights off, let it air dry for three days, wax it, then sit it in a cool dry UTTERLY MOUSE FREE place for three months. I'm thinking a cabinet at work.
I spent lunch Thursday with Friends # 0.5, 8, 2, and 4, and they are just funny people. Just sitting around saying stuff:
a. I was saying that Gary banned me from making pasta from scratch. Caroline envisioned pasta made with a hint of chocolate, then Libby upped it to a chocolate filled ravioli, then the others added caramel and a hazelnut or pecan. Deep fried. With powdered sugar. They now want to have a GNO in which we make "turtle ravioli."
b. We were debating what the C and CE keys do on a calculator. I pulled out my iPhone and then to the calculator app. No C or CE key.
Libby took the phone out of my hands. "Watch," she said significantly, and turned the iPhone sideways.
You would think she'd invented turtle ravioli the way we reacted. GASPS. Ooooh! Ahhh! Go to every app and turn it sideways! (Nothing else compared.)
c.Robin is looking for a new dry cleaner. Why? "I went to the dry cleaner off Caulk's Hill and there was this chicken there and ... " She went on while I flashed back to the last episode of M*A*S*H. I pictured an Asian woman with a chicken and tried to reconcile that with the conversation Robin evidently had with the chicken, which she was now relating. Someone had lost the chicken's jacket.
"Wait," I said, "Show of hands, who else thought there was a chicken there, instead of a 'chick in there.'" (About everyone.)
I was listening to the NPR fundraiser on the way home form work. At 5:20 p.m. they said "In the next 40 minutes all we need is $11,134 dollars in pledges to meet our goal." I laugh heartily and told my NPR station they were screwed.
I really only mention that because I want to link you to the KWMUPledge Drive Drinking Game, which is the funniest thing I think I've ever seen in the RFT. I'm sure it will translate well everywhere there are pledge drives.
First he was a soldier who murdered sixteen Afghan citizens.
Then he was an excellent solider, and he was whisked back to the States.
The he was Robert Bales, beleagured family man, with debts and housing issues.
And now he's Robert Bales, criminal financial analyst.
Here are some excerpts from the article linked above.
The U.S. soldier accused of killing 16 civilians in Afghanistan left for war without paying a $1.5 million judgment for defrauding an elderly client in a stock scheme, and remains shielded from the obligation as long as he remains in the military, legal experts said.
Bales joined the Army 18 months after an Ohio investor filed an arbitration complaint alleging unauthorized trading, breach of contract and other abuses against him, his securities firm and the firm's owner.
[He was penalized and skipped out on his enormous fine by heading to Afghanistan, where he is exempt from his debt.]
Bales [initially worked] at Hamilton-Shea Group, a brokerage that was expelled from NASD in 2001 and fined $1.4 million over several issues ... "the kind of place where you learn to cold call, to 'pump and dump'."
Neither FINRA nor the Ohio Divison of Securities ever suspended Bales, who simply let his securities license lapse.
So, while they were telling us he's an excellent and misunderstood soldier, stateside he's a predator defrauding the elderly out of their savings. What did he do? My guess is at the least he placed trades without the client's permission in order to generate more commissions for himself.
He learned to 'pump and dump': buy a crap stock, tell your clients what a great stock it is, they buy it and artificially inflate the price, then you dump it at a profit. It's an illegal practice favored by the Mafia. The slaughter of the civilians seems more in character now. This guy is heartless. It makes the whisking to the States understandable too - he's a fugitive.
The most chilling sentence? Bales "simply let his securities license lapse." What type of maniac lets that lapse? He has the take the Series 7 again!
I've been watching the Illinois exit poll results on the CNN crawl. It breaks down by gender, salary, and a category called "White evangelical/Born again." 48% Santorum, 39% Romney.
CNNs website says "Romney types are in the north around Chicago and its suburbs, where typically three-quarters of Republicans vote. Advantage Romney, except evangelical and Christian conservative voters have been turning out in big numbers for Santorum."
This amazes me. I can only imagine they think Santorum is a Baptist: you know, just like the President is a Muslim. There is no way the Southern Baptists I knew would vote for a Catholic. I was born a Catholic, and I kept my ears open for anti-Catholic slights while I was a Baptist. Here is a short list of comments I heard:... no, let my title this ...
LIES I HEARD FROM EVANGELICALS / BORN AGAINS ABOUT CATHOLICS
(just so there is no confusion)
1. The Whore of Babylon in Revelations is the Catholic church, because she sits on the city with the seven hills (Rome). That is why they moved the Vatican to its own separate city: to mislead us. (And they named it Vatican City, not Whoreyville, to further mislead us.)
2. Catholics believe that it is better to have one abortion instead of taking contraception because it is one sin instead of many.
3. Blah blah blah Illuminati blah Proctor and Gamble blah blah False Prophet Pope.
4. Catholics are going to Hell because they have not been born again. (Or, they grew up principled and didn't need a rebirth, as I never said aloud.)
5. Catholics believe the Pope is God. (I feel it is time for another disclaimer: these are bigoted lies.)
6. Catholics believe Mary was a Virgin when Jesus was born and even still after she had other sons.
Granted, this was all in the '70s and '80s. Since then things have possibly calmed down. In the '60s Aunt Carleen had to walk out of a sermon when she was told from the pulpit not to vote for The Catholic Kennedy. I recall being told in 1979 that it would be nice to have a Baptist deacon like Jimmy Carter in charge of the country, since he could pray directly to God and all.
Gary laughed when I told him those things. "Those Baptists! They probably do believe those things!"
"Probably? Trust me. I heard all these things. They call Catholics 'CandleBurners' too."
"HAH! They probably DO call us CandleBurners! Ha!"
I gave up.
Well, today Gary came back with a link from the Washington Post: Santorum's ties to Opus Dei.
Don't bother reading it: the big tie to Opus Deilooks to be that he goes to church with Opus Dei believers, and sent his kids to a school run by OD types. By that token both my sister-in-law and Friend #2 have ties to OD for the same reasons.
Gary was all excited about this news, because it seems mainstream Catholics can make fun of Opus Dei Catholics for being TOO Catholic. Gary crowed, "He probably has fishhooks inside those sweater vests!" He commenced lashing himself with his car keys.
All Romney has to do is remind the Evangelicals / Born Agains (so awkward, CNN, just call them Jesus Freaks) is that Mormons think Baptists are going to Lesser Heaven while Opus Dei types would throw them right in Hell. BOOM. Welcome to hell. Or, as they would say, "BOOM! Grata ad infernum! On the other hand, feel free to enjoy the wine, you were wrong about that one."
The list of google searches! Now, with answers, in case anyone else comes by and wants to know.
1. "can you get pregnant from a spunky tennis ball hitting you in the minge"
Step one: have a man ejaculate on a tennis ball. Be sure the ejaculate is fresh, and then have him - Step two -serve the ball across the court toward your 'minge.' In Step Three, try to squat in such a way that the tennis ball will hit your pudenda directly, or alternatively, you could have sex.
2. "Where are dogs belly buttons"
I had to look this up. This dog has an outtie, dead center:
< Right there.
Innies look like faint scars.
3."memorial tattoos for grandparents"
What an awful idea, I thought. Are there really that many grandparents who would get tattoos? Even for their dead grandchildren? Then I thought, well, when I think of grandparents I think of people in their eighties, when your skin is fragile, but quite often you'll see a grandparent in his or her forties, I guess those are the people getting memorial tattoos of their dead grandchildren. That wouldn't be too gross. Let's image search that ...
How is this month different from all other months?
I haven't felt the full weight of Gary's birthday month this year. The extra chores are minimal. I asked Gary and he said it used to be great because he could invoke the immediate WIn Any Argument rule, but "we don't argue that much any more." And it's truuuuueeee. I hang my head in shame. I think there aren't too many conflicts because we aren't doing anything together except sleep one day a weekend. I need to look into some events around town we can attend to shake things up. We have a Modern Art museum I've never seen, and I've never seen Citigarden, or the Kemp auto museum, and I haven't been to the Transport Museum since I was a kid: when it was awful. That should start some arguments.
What did I get Gary for his birthday?
He bought those bird cameras for his parents and his sister. It didn't even occur to me until last Tuesday he might like that for his birthday. He isn't too excited about it right now, but I think he just needs to see the first night photos or the first video. Speaking of arguments, he now can not move the big mound of dirt because the squirrels have been burying their nuts in there.
What am I wearing to the Wedding?
I brought the two contender outfits to gary and Sandy's birthday party so they could pass Muslim in-law inspection. No question. Sparkly blue one won, hands down. Evidently it looks like some traditional garb that Sandy is wearing. In response to my concern that I would look strange as a white woman in South Asian garb, she said "I'm a white woman. Am I going to look strange?" Now of course, the other sister is going to look strange in a conventional black and white zebra print.
What happened to the weekly Cheese?
Cheddar takes twice as much milk as the other cheeses I've made, so I'm low on milk. Plus, I still have to use up my existing mozzarella. I have to say, the cheese experiment has really made me appreciate fancy cheese.
I need to go recline. Night!
Last night, we were shopping for sister-in-law Sandy's birthday gifts, and after the three stores I begged Gary to stop, because I was wiped out.
"NO WE HAVE TO GO TO THE GROCERY TO BUY PIES AND FRUIT FOR THE PARTY!"
I got in the grocery and grabbed a cart so I could use Mom's trick of pushing the cart when you are exhausted because it holds you up. Gary used the Gary trick of behaving like an insane person to give your exhausted spouse a little extra adrenaline.
Gary pointed at the top shelf of the Easter display, about two feet from the ceiling of the Dierbergs. "There they are. The Lindt bunnies. I'll lift you up and then you -" Oh, fuck that noise. I turned to the Courtesy Center right behind us.
I waited for a cashier to finish having his drawer counted, then I asked for help. The cashier was on it in seconds, and Gary was nowhere to be found. Actually, he was hiding in the next aisle, and when he saw the cashier got a chair to stand on, and heard him ask "How many do you want?" Gary rounded the corner and said "ALL OF THEM." So, sorry to anyone who wants medium Lindt Top Shelf bunnies at the 94 Dierbergs, we have them ALL.
Next: Produce aisle. Last time we were there, they had a yellow watermelon quarter.
So delicious. It seemed better than a normal melon. Perfect for this year of Summer-in-Spring. Alas, no yellow melons today. I was a little perked up by Gary's eccentric bunny behavior, and I spotted a Dierberg's employee, and all I could say was "Yellow melon?" and he looked at me blankly.
Gary dragged me to the wine display, where there was an empty display box filled with excelsior. "That's what I call a LIGHT WINE."
"Do you want a treat? A treat of some kind?"
"I just want to go home and fall into bed."
We picked up the milk for the weekly cheese (Cheddar!) and went to the check-out.
That's when the excitement started. The checker was the one who helped with the bunnies. "Did you find everything okay?"
"Yellow watermelon. You had it. Now it's gone."
"Tell him," he said, pointing to the bagger. "He's the store manager." I realized that's why the cashier had been paranoid about having his drawer checked.
I saw a chance to Speak Truth to Power. "YELLOW. WATERMELON.Bring it back!"
The manager / bagger responded by cracking the two glass milk bottles together.
Milk everywhere. Milk pouring through a hole at the end of the counter. Manager ran to get a mop, while cashier and I pushed extra milk through the hole into a trash can, and Gary went for more milk.
After it was all cleaned up, I said to the manager, "Yellow. Watermelon." Don't forget."
The excitement gave me enough energy to get to the car, and it gave Gary even more energy. He pointed the box of bunnies toward the car.
"Ho, bunnies! March! March to the car!" Whip cracking noises.
The last physical action of the night: I was rolling the cart to the corral in teh parking lot, when another friendly Dierbergs employee yelled "I'll take it" and waved her arms. So I gave it a huge push with the last ounce of energy and it rolled about 10 feet and stopped. She ran over to get it.
So ... then I came home and flopped into bed.
A few months ago NPR did a piece on wearable devices that will wake you up at the most opportune time in your sleep cycle. It notices if you are sleeping lightly and if it's close to the time the alarm will go off, it wakes you up.
Marcia said she knew of an iPhone app that did the same thing. I hung back and watched her use it for a while, then tried it on my own last night.
(If you are interested, it is "Sleep Cycle Alarm Clock," 99 cents.)
Here is how I slept last night:
1. I can vouch for the accuracy of the "Awake" peak between 3 and 4. Mac was freaking out for some reason.
2. Hour 4 kind of scares me. It almost looks like I drop off the chart.
3. The device works because you put it on your bed by your pillow, and it tells if you are utterly still or thrashing about a bit. It just lies on its belly on the bed while plugged in. It makes no sound except to wake you up. Gary still marched around all morning ranting, "Tonight ws the first night you brought that iPhone in to bed and I had the worst sleep of my life. That is not a coincidence!" He's rational now.
4. It did wake me up, but not when I felt like I was sleeping lightly. Perhaps it sensed I was trending downward and it got me up because it knew I'd be worse at 6:00, my official wake-up time.
5. I am not seeing any regular 3 hour cycle, or any "first and second" antiquated sleep business. All I see there is a one hour deep sleep, then I roll over, then repeat hourly.
5. As it happened, I woke up when the iPhone alarm went off, got out of bed, pottered around with the dog, came back to bed in half an hour and fell asleep till nine. Looks like much the same will happen tonight, since it is so late.
I truly enjoyed our Global Warming today. It was over 80 degrees here in Saint Louis. In Winter. Pear trees are all abud. Of course, soon the white buds will be particularly lovely when glazed by an early spring ice storm.
I find I vote based on how other people will benefit, not so much how I will benefit, but I was taking a harsh look at Obama's Promise Meter on Politifact and found he is to thank for the Gilenia Nurse Navigator who smacked my drug payment down to nothing. Or, at least, he is in favor of more Nurse Navigators.
Finally, I have pinkeye. A child did walk past me yesterday evening, but made no contact, so she was not to blame. I confess that for many years I have assumed pinkeye comes from stray fecal matter in the eye. I do judge various friends who have had pinkeye and I speculate how they got it. It does explain why so many children have it.
I blamed the dog. COME TO FIND OUT poopy-eye is only one of dozens of reasons one can have pinkeye. I am relieved.
At work, I've switched from programming in a language I know well to another, more difficult language. Today I scaled a wall. In Ninja Warrior terms, I hit the buzzer with seconds to go.
Metaphorically, I spent today trying to scale the Warped Wall.
See the guy hanging on to the top of the wall under the 449? That was me at 6 pm. I'd spent the day taking a run, leaping, slipping. I'd get a little closer each try, but I never ever made it, all day, until about 6 in the evening.
One more try. I said, "This won't work." And then it did! "Shashido!" (I believe this is Japanese for "Made it!" I've picked up a little Japanese since Ninja Warrior is on 24/7 during the Birthday month.)
And I DANCED. I cackled! I emailed Friend #3 and told her I am a god. I danced some more. I called Gary, drunk with power.
Awesome. The rest of the course will be so much easier now that I'm past this obstacle.
The nephew's wedding is in June, and we have heard from the bride what colors she wants the wedding party to wear. We are not in the wedding party (despite being paraded in and pelted with candies by the children - whatEVER) and I'm fine with that.
She wants to make sure we don't wear the same colors as worn by the wedding party. You know, so no one mistakes us for her family. I think the white skin might give it away, but JUST IN CASE we are not to wear...
White, Black, Navy, Purple, Lavender, Plum, or Gold.
At first I thought, well, I'll just wear a pants suit with that fancy silver top that is too nice for work. (Tries on top.) And too small for me, as happens to clothes you never wear.
So, Gary was saying, just buy yourself something you would usually wear to work, and I thought I don't wear suits to work anymore. But I do need to have a nice black pants suit in case someone dies. Damn! No black.
I could wear my off-white silk suit I wore to the derby - No, it's too close to white. I wouldn't wear it to a Christian wedding. I could wear what I wore to his last wedding - but that's bad juju, and it's black and white.
So, I thought, let's just give up on re-usable clothes, and then Gary raved on for a while, eventually saying "You'll need to have something we could wear to the opera - " and then I shut him down. Opera? Come on. I need something I could wear out to a nice dinner, and so does Gary.
(Sandy did say it didn't matter if we wore slacks or a dress. "Since you aren't muslim no one cares if you show your legs." I call BS on this. Old women will care. And stare. And glare.)
I poked about a little and everything plus-sized was Navy, Black, or White.
And then I really freed my mind. It seems to me if I'm going to wear something for special occasions I want to be a big artsy canvas. So I stopped looking at "Special Occasion pants sets" and looked up plus-size arty.
I discovered I am a strong black woman. I would wear the hell out of this ensemble:
No, I'm serious, it's me. AND IT'S PLUM, I realized, just before I bought it.
And she looks happier in the cinnamon. Seriously, this is still in the running, as is this:
Obviously, I wouldn't stand that way. Also, I'm not six feet tall. I love the cut, though, linen is not my friend.
I also found this red jacket:
I thought a while about that one until I realized the mannequin's shoulders are wide and square and the hips are small, and that's what I found appealing.
I like this duster quite a bit, but it would cost more than my plane ticket:
So that sent me off to the used clothing area on ebay, where I think I might have actually purchased this:
I bid with hours to go at twenty bucks. There's a matching lined tank and lined pants.Of course, it will look like I'm in a Southeast Asian costume, and everyone will assume I'm pretending to fit in. Totally inappropriate. I'll have to wear it to the opera if I win.
It is entirely possible it won't fit, but I've bought lunches for less than this outfit.It doesn't shriek "look at me" like the beachy linen ensembles above, but since we will be the only non-brown people at this wedding we are going to be stared at, what with our exposed hair and sitting next to out husbands (sluts!).
Feel free to weigh in. Would giant Amazon linen outfits wrinkle less than little linen outfits? Should I spring for the duster? All this will be moot if the brown outfit shows up and fits.
I worked at home Thursday, with my background companion, CNN. CNN is usually suitably boring, but Thursday morning they were wild about a solar storm due to hit earth. Threats of GPS outages, satellites down, and "VIVID AURORA BOREALIS AS FAR SOUTH AS SAINT LOUIS."
My head whipped up. Northern lights? Where? When? I immediately showered in preparation for the road trip I spontaneously planned just that moment.
I planned to leave the house and drive as far North as possible as soon as the sun set. Remember, seeing the Aurora is a dream deferred by Gary's migraine. And this is typical of my life: Mohammed can't go to the Aurora, let the Aurora come to Mohammed. Of course the Aurora comes to see me, I am absurdly fortunate. I shrug. Can't help it, just lucky I guess.
All day Thursday I checked Twitter, because I follow @Aurora_Alerts. Usually they bore me with news of an aurora in zone 4, which is mostly Canada. I'm in zone 8. Their web site confirmed there might we be lights in the Saint Louis sky. I checked weather.com, and they said it would be partly cloudy. I decided I'd see where the cloud cover was on the map at sunset and then drive away from it. I had to get away from the lights of the city anyway.
At about 4 I heard CNN say, "The solar storm did not hit us directly. Earth just got a glancing blow," and while they did still promise an aurora, they said nothing about Saint Louis. Aw, damn. Road trip cancelled.
Just in case, I checked the sky a few times before I went to bed. Nothing but clouds. I checked the aurora alert site. Aurora was at "STORM" level, only over Canada. Then I slept hard until 5:30 a.m., when I woke up to see an alert that "AURORA IS AT STORM LEVEL ZONE 7.6!" Close enough to 8 for me!
I darted outside just in time to see a pink glow in the Northeast. It got brighter and brighter until I realized it was the dawn.
And then Friday , off and on all day, the aurora was intermittently at STORM LEVEL over 7.6! All DAY long. If an aurora shines but you can't see it because of the fucking SUN, does it make a light? NO. Stupid sun blocking my view of the Northern Lights dancing overhead.
Hope springs though: there is to be another solar flare on the 11th.
It is the twenty-first century, and we have a candidate who is against contraception. He thinks it's wrong. He voted for it, even though it's wrong.
"I have voted in the past for funding for [birth control] for poor women," he added. "As I said before, I believe that the better alternative is for abstinence education – for federal funds to be used for that, not for birth control, but I voted for it."
The better alternative is abstinence. That's what he believes. [Insert big jowly flabbergasted head shake here. Sound effect: Glugugurgub.]
What's my opinion? The better alternative is masturbation. Lots and lots of it. (Oh, and oral sex. That's a good alternative too.)
We know his personal view: if you are actively having sex and not trying for babies then you have sinned. I will give anything if a debate moderator asks Smooshface how he stands on masturbation. Because that's what you want: teenagers condemned for masturbating, adults condemned for having sex and not "dealing with the consequences," gays condemned for who they are, just general all-around condemnation.
And Big Dot, regrading your comment: of course, I made all those photos last night. The last two are from one of his rare straight-on head shots, and he would make a fairly normal looking man if he had not been smooshed.
His face is squished.
That was a pretty good photo for him. This is more typical:
Did he have a twin who pinched his skull in utero?
I keep wanting to part his hair on the other side.
No, that's worse.
Is it his eyes that are wonky?
That photo has got to be doctored. Look, they squished his eyeballs into place and it threw off his mouth.
Petty? Yes. I'll take it all back when he apologizes to the gays and the dogs for his insulting statements.
Five years ago - or perhaps more - we cut down the remaining half of a giant oak that had been felled by a freak windstorm. Well, the tree service cut it down, and then ground it down to the ground. We didn't pay to have them haul the chips away, and they didn't ask, so we were left with a pitcher's mound of dirt and wood chips.
When I would try to relocate them, Gary would stop me. "What are you doing! You'll hurt your back! I'll do that later."
After a year, he claimed we could never dig the mound up because there were still roots above the soil line in the big mound of dirt and wood chips.
After three years, I tried to dig up some of the dirt, and while I didn't hit any roots, I did dig up a few blades of grass that were trying to turn the pitcher's mound into a grassy knoll. I was accused of conspiring to sabotage the lawn. I gave up.
Well, when the pre-tornado winds blew down a pear tree this week, we had the tree service grind that stump down, and take the chips, and then also grind up the (alleged) roots in the back.
This is why I laughed today. I howled when I looked out back and saw our old pitcher's mound is gone. Our new backyard sport? Dirt bike racing. The mound is twice as high: all the old dirt plus all the new wood chips.
I think our only hope is to keep digging down into the gouges the wood grinder left and break through to the groundhog warren. Then it we could just cause a chain-reaction cave-in. The groundhogs would tunnel through and redistribute the dirt like in the Great Escape. This would all have to happen without Gary's knowledge, because of course it is his Birthday Month, and he can do no work.
As you see, I chose the easiest cheese to make - cottage cheese. It uses all the ingredients - milk, culture, rennet, and shows you how to cut the curd and then heat it up to release the whey.
I found this on YouTube, if you want to know the process. As she says, it does require patience, but spending the day with Gary watching The Women of Ninja Warriors requires patience as well.
And then I destroyed it all. Instead of adding salt, I added Cheese Salt, which came with the kit and is some kind of XXXNaCl, super salty salt.
Other than tasting like creamy rock salt, it's fine, and I can easily just stir it in to some low-salt cottage cheese from the store. I am not discouraged! Good thing I didn't make my first mistake on cheddar or braided mozzarella that requires more work.
The cheese making kits have arrived, decorated with cartoons, festooned with fonts. "EASY!" Easy-cheesy.
After reading the directions I see I have made a terrible mistake. Has anyone ever thought about cheese, and what goes in to cheese? Rot, of course, and milk, and the mold.
Somehow, I had the idea that cheese was like baking, and that different amounts of different ingredients is what makes the cheese.
I read four recipes, all of which read identically, for four entirely different kinds of cheeses. Then I realized my mistake. I thought this would be a chemical process, like baking or cooking. No, it's a physical process. Do you let the cheese coagulate in a block and then slice it in some intricate way you must look up on YouTube, or do you flick it with your fingernail, or squeeze it through your fingers, or pull it? And then do you hang it or press it?
You just manipulate the flavor into it. It's all the same stuff inside. Rennet, culture, milk.
Well, to be fair, the milk can vary: for example, goat vs ewe vs cow. And supposedly, French cow differs from Missouri cow. Since I have neither livestock or foreign grass, my cheese will taste like Oberweiss milk, and then I have to trust this whole cutting / turning /squeezing process to determine what the cheese tastes like beyond that.
I felt a little better when I realized that Yorkshire pudding, popovers and pancakes have essentially the same ingredients in the same proportions, but how you treat them physically is what changes the flavor. It's just strange to think that the sharpness of a cheddar is based on how many times you cut it with a knife before you press it.
A whole new world. How long until I buy a ewe?