Six LDS Writers and A Frog

Wednesday, March 02, 2011

In Which I Ramble about Skills, or the Lack Thereof

I asked my kids what I should blog about. My nineteen-year-old said, “Me.” My seventeen-year-old also suggested herself as the subject of my blog. “What aspect of your life should I blog about?” I asked. She suggested I blog about how awesome she is. Today’s topic: self-esteem.

Okay, maybe I won’t talk about self-esteem, though my daughters are awesome. Yes, indeedy. The 19-yo knows how to dance the cha cha, speak in incomprehensible psychological jargon, and cook hot and sour soup. The 17-yo can handle snakes, ferrets, and Russian novels that weigh more than she does.

I asked my ten-year-old son, Techno-Boy, what I should blog about, and he suggested I wait until 10:00 to blog. Why? Because that’s when they make the announcement about the new iPad, of course. Given that I’m not exactly what you’d call a techno-genius, I’m not sure that’s a good topic for me (“Today, Apple announced the new iPad. I’ve noticed that it’s really shiny, just like the old one. Also, it’s flat.”) Example of my skills: yesterday, I was using the desktop computer, which I don’t do a lot—I usually use my laptop. “Why isn’t this mouse working very well?” I griped, at which point, Techno-Boy said, “You’ve got it upside down, silly.” (In my defense, the thing looks the same both ways except for the Apple logo). Techno-Boy is also giving me lessons in how to use my phone, a device which thrills him intensely—he can toss off stats like the fact that it has an “A4 1GHz single core processor,” which I think is techno-speak for “it runs by magic.”

It’s not that I’m innately inept at working anything with a power button—it’s more that I suffer from, as Captain von Trapp put it in The Sound of Music, “a deplorable lack of curiosity.” Plus I’m lazy. It’s not that I think I’m incapable of learning how to stream Netflix onto the TV—it’s just that I don’t watch much TV, and if I do want to see something, someone else is around who knows how to work the magic buttons, and I’m content to let them take care of it. Yeah, I know—I really should learn how to work my own TV. But I know how to take pictures on my phone now, so that’s worth points, right? I mean, I think I know . . . if I can remember what Techno-Boy taught me.

Another thing I’m learning besides phone skills: how to use our new mixer. Our old one died a prolonged death, its decline triggered by a stiff batch of bagel dough. When we replaced the mixer, we wanted one that could handle whatever type of bread my bread-baker husband wanted to throw at it, along with cookies, rolls, etc. Our new mixer has a bit of a learning curve attached to it—the first time I used it, I made my hand sore trying to figure out how to work the screw that you use to adjust the position of the arm that holds the attachments. Why in the world was this screw so hard to turn? This couldn’t possibly be right. When my husband got home, I told him about the problem. It took him about three seconds to figure out how to work it (okay, back to my contention that I’m not innately inept. Actually, I think I am, a little bit. Mechanical or electronic things are not intuitive for me. Also, I can’t sew a straight line, but that’s another topic).

Anyway, my new mixing adventure today: using the bread hook for the first time. The Young Women’s president asked my husband to teach a bread class to the YW tonight. Since the bread my husband usually makes—assorted sourdoughs, baguettes, etc.—is not the kind of bread that would work well for a beginner, he decided to do two things: he’ll bring an already-baked loaf of No-Knead Bread for the girls to taste (this is an awesome bread—you just combine the ingredients and let the dough sit for about 18 hours, then fold, rest, shape, rise, bake. It’s a somewhat wet dough, which makes it trickier to handle, but even if your loaf comes out crooked, it still tastes great). He’ll also bring the dough for a basic white sandwich bread for the girls to work with. One tricky part of teaching a bread class: if you want a finished product that evening, you need some dough ready beforehand—otherwise, the class is going to be super long and super boring (“Okay, girls, we’re done kneading the bread. Now we’ll wait for an hour and a half while it rises and then you can shape it.”). Since my husband will be at work all day, I’ll be his assistant bread person and make the dough for him in the new Mixer of Power. I’m ready to try out that dough hook—I know how to work the mixer screw now, and if I keep my hands out of the bowl, I’m unlikely to break anything. So I should be good to go. And if I mess up too badly, maybe he can scrap the bread class and I can show off to the Young Women that I know how to check my email on my phone. Think they’ll be impressed?


At 3/02/2011 2:28 PM, Blogger Bonnie said...

You write the best blog posts. Every day of the week should be Stephanie's day.

At 3/02/2011 2:58 PM, Blogger Stephanie Black said...

Aww, glad you enjoyed it, Bonnie (oh--and I mailed you the check. And don't forget our Twitter agreement--extra $ if you include the phrase "best tweeter on the planet.").

At 3/02/2011 9:50 PM, Blogger Krista said...

Stephanie, we are a lot alike in the techno category! "A deplorable lack of curiosity." Perfect. Just tell me how to do what the thing is basically supposed to do. Actually, it alleviates a lot of worrying about upgrades and apps, doesn't it? ;) Like I even know what those are anyway. Pshh.

At 3/03/2011 7:04 PM, Blogger Michael Knudsen said...

A classic post! Life is fun as long as there are things we still don't understand, and all these whizbang gizmos provide us with endless fun.

At 3/04/2011 11:56 AM, Blogger Stephanie Black said...

There will always be plenty of things I don't understand, so life is bound to be lots of fun! Thanks for the comments.


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