Monday, December 08, 2008

Curd Your Enthusiasm

I just finished up a nice, healthy dinner featuring marinated, baked tofu.  Under the circumstances, that seems rather unfair in my opinion.  Insult to injury...

I was late to work this morning due to the fact that I have yet to process the reality of winter weather.  Winter weather means that snow falls sometimes (like it did yesterday) and that the temperatures will plummet (like they did today.)  This requires scraping ice from the windshield and that takes a little bit of time.  You need to allow for that, especially on a morning when you will find yourself rather close to your working destination but trapped behind some poor dude who's truck has broken down right in the middle of the road you must travel.

I barely had time to read my email before the kids started trickling in demanding that I teach them stuff.  I kind of wish I hadn't read it.  It was not great news in some respects.

The state of Maine is slashing budgets like a samurai behind on his To-Do List.  The Department of Education is one of the targets and the administrators in my school district have been frantically trying to come up with some kind of plan that doesn't involve laying off all the teaching staff and having the kids teach themselves.  They finally reached a decision and are taking it to the Teacher's Union.  

Essentially, they are planning to have all staff take two furlough days throughout the course of the year and have our paychecks reflect the days of lost pay during two upcoming months.  It could have been worse and I know that.  In fact, I support the administrator's decision on this one.  The idea is to spread the burden and try to keep anyone from feeling too much of the sting.  The superintendents of the schools will take three of these enforced vacations.

This, on top of all the other cuts they are making (and those are drastic, believe me) should keep us afloat with minimal lay-offs.  This is a good thing.  Also good will be the half-days where they simply usher us out the door and let us run free like the buffalo.  But I will surely miss those two days of monetary reward.  Most of us will probably spend the afternoons handed to us grading papers for free.  

Hence, we see the reason why I think that my having tofu for dinner tonight was kind of mean.  Especially since I did this to myself.

I struck a blow for teachers everywhere, though.  I blatantly knit during the kids group time with the school social worker today and didn't even try to make an excuse for not working on paperwork like I was supposed to.  I also only kept one of the five million kids who owed me lunch detention in the classroom and let the rest go eat lunch without having to look at me the whole time.  Then I knit some more.  It was kind of hard to eat my hearty lunch (an apple) while doing so, but I stayed the course.  They'll probably write one of those cool protest songs about me or something.  I'm like a Leader Among The Oppressed!

On a happier note, I am pleased to report that the Christmas tree remains upright and unsullied.  (Mostly...)  I had a few twinges of worry this morning as I watched the Absurdly Gi-normous Kitty discover the ornaments on the lower branches.  He was tentatively batting at them as I was rushing out the door so I could be late for work.  However, upon my return to hearth and home, I found but one small bauble on the floor.  He just doesn't seem to have any real interest in a tree having sprouted in the corner.  

He'll periodically investigate it...

Then he moves on to more important matters such as cleansing between his toes.

I guess if you can't run through it like a Dollar Store Cat Cave, eat it or get chin-rubs from it, then it isn't all that interesting.  

I wonder how he'd feel about the leftover tofu.  We are belt-tightening and I hate to waste it...



trek said...

My (admittedly limited) understanding of tofu is that it is whipped, processed soybean curd. Further to that, I understand that it has basically no flavor of its own and must steal flavor from the food companions in close proximity to itself.

One should not eat something that does not have a flavr of its own.

It is a rule.

How could you violate such a sacred rule?!

Anonymous said...

Never mind trek. I have had sauteed tofu in Chinese/Indian food and it was delightful (much to my surprise).

I like the principle of spreading the pain among everyone. I just wish that, nationally, it extending to the CEOs of those Wall Street firms. They deserve to take their share of pain.

Mel said...

mmmmm, tofu. It does have its own flavor, just a mild one. I like it raw, personally.

Anonymous said...

AGK is plotting his plan of attack. It will come when you least expect it.

Kath said...

Yeah, I'm also thinking AGK is just biding his time, trying to lull you into a false sense of security. That whole, "oh I'm just cleaning out the toe jams" nonchalant bit is rather overdone.

Donna Lee said...

I am not a fan of tofu unless you hide it in something with lots of extra flavor for it to absorb. And by hide, I mean I should not notice that I am eating it.

The furlough days are tough but I'd rather do that than have layoffs. You'd think education (and mental health for that matter) would be recession proof but this seems to be no ordinary recession.

Mia said...

I hear ya with the budget cuts, NY is going thru the same thing.. it's pretty horrible around here lately.

But really is it so bad you've resorted to tofu?????? For goodness sake woman, we have to live large and enjoy ourselves ONCE in a while... go for the burger :)

Me? I'm just gonna retire and move to a hut in mexico, drink dollar beer and eat fresh fruit. Mmm hmmm.. go head.. just tell me to go on back to sleep cuz I'm obviously still dreaming :)

Knitting Linguist said...

Yeurgh. Furloughs *and* tofu in one day. Not so good. I'm not so fond of tofu, unless it's been deep-fried, which rather obviates the point, no? I'm impressed with AGK's forbearance with regards to the tree, too -- if only we were so lucky (we have to put little pongi sticks in the pot to keep the cat from using it as a litter box...).

Jeanne said...

Oy, cutbacks. On the news last night, it was reported that as punishment for not passing the school levy, they're threatening to stop bus service for high school students that live within two miles of the school, stating they can just walk.

Right. Like THAT will encourage them to stay in school. Enrollment is already down.

I feel for ya, Sheepie.

And, copious amounts of garlic helps disguise the non-flavor of the toe food.

Alwen said...

At least you haven't descended to "pro burger", whatever that was! (Something my mother tried to get us to eat during the recession of the 70's.)

Karen said...

Ick news at school and tofu for dinner? I hope you have ice cream or cookies for dessert because you earned it.