Archive | June, 2011

Emergency in the Kitchen!

29 Jun

I seriously just saw my life (or, more precisely, the contents of every bank account from now until about 10 years from now) flash before my eyes.

I was cooking EGG WHITES on the stove (of all things) and threw some olive oil in the pan, since they’re stainless steel, and it ignited into flames. I foolishly thought it could be tamed with water (which is the worst idea ever evidently) so the fire grew and the flames were licking the ceiling. I thought, well, this is it! I’m going to burn this place down! On the hottest day of all time! And this is Oklahoma so the wind will sweep this massive fire down the plain and everything in all apartments everywhere will be lost!

Then the smoke alarm went off and by the grace of something larger than me, the fire died down and I was able to open all the windows, turn on all the fans, and call the front desk to tell them not to alert the fire department. Eventually the smoke alarm stopped and I was left shaking.  Although in time I was able to cook them, I could never bring myself to actually eat the stupid eggs.

Lessons learned today:

  1. Olive oil heated to a high enough temperature is extremely flammable (oil is combustible… who knew?)
  2. Water only makes the situation worse
  3. Under the influence of adrenaline, my brain is basically useless
So, here’s the deal. If an oil fire starts in the kitchen, the best option is the deprive it of oxygen. Smother it! Don’t feed it with panicky hot breath and a douse of water! Here are some ways to put out a grease fire (c/o my father and a quick Google search):
  • Cover it with a lid
  • Throw a good amount of baking soda, flour or salt on it
  • Use a fire extinguisher
Now I am going to spend the rest of the day on edge and paranoid that something in my apartment is going to suddenly burst into flames. Excuse me while I go study the instructions on our fire extinguisher for a few hours.
**Edit: After a thorough search of the dwelling, I have come to the conclusion that we don’t actually have a fire extinguisher. Perhaps this needs to be remedied.

Bible Belt Blues (and the Grass is Always Greener)

18 Jun

Here I sit in an airport in the middle of the desert waiting for a connecting flight to Oakland. I left Oklahoma early this morning- gratefully, gladly, as the temperature was nearing 90 and the air was as thick and stifling as the city itself.

I hate flying and airports and traveling and the recycled, stinky air. But I love the destination, and isn’t that funny? Because there are all these great stories and quotes, the great ode to The Journey (forget the destination). Sometimes it’s true that the best part IS the journey but in my mind and heart I long for the greenery on the other side.

No joke: I suffer from the Grass is Always Greener syndrome. I waited and planned for and longed for the day L and I would get to move to Oklahoma. Those prairies and that weather sounded so … romantic. Which is NOT the way I would describe the place now that I’ve been here a month. The red earth and warm summer nights are dreamy for sure, as was the leisure time I had for the first week or so. I had been looking so forward to being a hausfraus and getting my relax on. But now I face the reality that I have nothing to do, literally no business here and my brains are bored. And this is a major city that lacks, shall we say, a metropolitan flair. This city girl is living in one giant, glorified suburb, yo. As it turns out having a job serves more than one purpose and I am lost without one.

I have had a lot of time in my head, thinking about home (both of them), and work, and family. And it occurred to me that Oklahoma isn’t the destination- it never was. It’s our dirty, dusty, stinky means to a glorious green end. Which is South Dakota, sure, of course, but also a better life. The possibility of more, of the end of many struggles, closeness to family. If you had told me in 1999 that I would look forward to a life in Sioux Falls I would have laughed in your face and tried to make it untrue. But here we are, and I am glad I never knew.

Destination: South Dakota.