Thursday, April 13, 2006

when I can't think straight and there's no escape

Here's a little list of subject lines that really should not appear on work emails:
  • I need you
  • Where are you
  • Don't have a cow, man

The last one is, at least, humorous. The first two are Creepy McStalkerish. Looks like someone needs to go to Workplace Sensitivity Training.

Sometimes, I think my job, which often consists of corraling children and keeping them from smacking each other, has slowly chipped away at any maternal instinct I might have ever had. Maybe it is different if they are actually five years old, instead of simply acting five years old, but sweet sassy molassy, immaturity is annoying at work (in life, on the other hand, it is indispensable). When I find myself refereeing quarrels that would be more appropriate in a sandbox, consoling people on the phone because their feelings (that sound was me vomiting) were hurt, and getting needy emails that feel like someone tugging at apron strings, well, it's enough to cement my status as misanthrope extraordinaire.

Since this week has involved juggling several activities, none of which included the completion of my taxes, I concluded the only thing to do was to stir the pot even more. Oodles & I had a conversation a few weeks back that went something like this:
    oodles: I ate the last of the Thin Mints and now they're all gone. (insert sad face)
    brimful: What's the big deal? Do what I do- get more!
    oodles: Where am I going to get more?
    brimful: What do you mean? We can go to Walgreen's and get some right now.
    oodles: (silent, but face says WTFF?!?)

Somehow I had convinced myself that Thin Mints were After Eight's. Not so much. I felt I ought to observe some sort of penance for this blunder, and this belittling of the true tragedy that is the last of the Girl Scout cookie stash. There is nothing funny about that.

So, the experiment started. First, there was planning. Planning involves me consulting a few books, watching Lost, relishing the knowing glances exchanged between Locke & Rose (I loves me the geriatric ward), yelling for more Mister Eko, and then scratching my head some more pondering whether it is time to get off my a$$ and get my hands dirty. After planning comes execution. Here is a tip: when making pseudo-Thin Mints, exercise caution before tasting the dough. Unless you don't mind feeling like you just took a shot of Peppermint Schnapps and washed it down with some industrial strength Listermint. After recovering from that, I sent the suckers to the oven. They emerged as such:

When running a reaction, it is always good to take an aliquot of your experiment to test. This keeps you from wasting a lot of time on something that really should go straight to the garbage. So, the dark chocolate coating followed on a small subset, and the result was:

For all my fears of the cookies being too minty, they might not actually be minty enough. My friend M gave me a real Thin Mint today, and I realized the chocolate is also an issue. Real Thin Mint chocolate is mostly greasy, not particularly chocolatey. It is going to be hard to get around that one. This is the part of experimentation that always causes me to falter. If you want to optimize an experiment, you need to think through what variables need to be changed. More peppermint? Thinner cookies? Less chocolate coating? Should I try all, one at a time, or hang it all up?

When I used to have roommates, this was the perfect time to get them involved. They were polar opposites. A would eat whatever I made, call it fantastic, and ask for more. M would eat whatever I made, pause to make sure I was not going to get upset, and then tell me it was missing something. This was perfect- A kept my confidence high while M kept me from deluding myself into thinking I was competent. This is the problem with subjecting polite people to tasting things. Maybe I need some more jerks in my life. Let me know if you have an extra jerk you have tired of.

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