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A week punctuated with little surprises

September 9, 2012
By JANICE R. KIASKI - Herald-Star community editor ( , The Herald-Star

It was a week of little surprises, first when I was downloading photos from my film card at work.

All the photos I had taken were there, about to be sized and identified when suddenly, wait a minute, wait a minute. Here's one I don't remember at all.

That's because it's a picture of me, sitting on the couch at home, eyes shut, mouth slightly ajar, head lowered a bit. I am clearly not awake. Oh, my, is that me, the mighty multi-tasker dozing and drooling?

Boy howdy, sure looks that way. I'm in Snooze City, apparently enjoying the stay.

I start to laugh, which I usually don't do when I'm downloading work photos, because, believe me, there's nothing very funny about the work pictures I take, but this time, I realize Better Half the Trickster has struck again.

I call him to take him to task, unable to do so without chuckling.

He is full of surprises, that Better Half of mine, often catching me off guard when I take a little cat nap on the couch.

This is, after all, the guy who waits until I nod off to apply shaving cream to my glasses or tapes squares of toilet paper to them so that when I do finally wake up, my re-entry into reality leaves me a bit startled initially.

If he isn't amusing me, though, Better Half can be making me unhappy or even a little annoyed, believe it or not.

Take the other day when I was actually feeling good about cooking dinner for a switch and feeling pretty smug that I had it all planned out in my head.

I had a few Market Day chicken steaks and a couple of pork chops. I decided to bread them, thinking I'd fry them all. Together. In a big old frying pan.

Then he delivered the sobering news: You can't fry a breaded pork chop. A breaded chicken steak, yes. A breaded pork chop, no. Those you bake.

He looked at me as though the third eye on my forehead had something wrong with it.

Imagine my surprise.

You can't fry a breaded pork chop? Isn't this 2012?


I still don't get it, but whatever.

It only confirms what I already know - cooking is too complicated and has way too many rules associated with it to suit me.

This is in addition to that theory that cooking is violent stuff - you beat eggs, whip cream and punch dough. Ouch.

Cooking in general - and not frying breaded pork chops in particular - just doesn't make a whole lot of sense.

So, it comes as no surprise to me that for the Labor Day picnic I attended at Aunt Betty's, I didn't cook a darn thing to take. Certainly not fried pork chops or baked ones.

I did the old deli drive-through and took a cheese-cracker-and-meat tray.

Surprise, surprise.

I labored not over that Labor Day choice made with my eyes wide open.

(Kiaski, a resident of Steubenville, is a staff columnist and features writer for the Herald-Star and The Weirton Daily Times and community editor for the Herald-Star. She can be contacted at

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