Escape your life for a little while — come play in mine.

Lessons learned the hard way

Posted by Lissa on April 1, 2009

Naturally, as soon as I had hit “Publish” on the post yesterday I felt guilty.

What if some of my readers have serious math problems? Will they think I’m calling them dumb? Maybe I should have titled it “Mad Math Skillz” instead. But it WAS kinda dumb. Well, really dumb.  But is that offensive? Is “dumb” too harsh a word?

Believe it or not, in person I try to be very courteous and careful about not offending anyone. (I try; I’m not saying I always succeed, mind you.) It’s a refreshing change to be more direct, with less prevarication, on this blog. However, the Interwebz live FOREVER; it worries me sometimes that an off-the-cuff remark could be taken as offensive, or mean-spirited, or cruel.

And then I think — the hell with it. I write this blog for fun. If someone is offended by a “So dumb it HURTS” post title, well, I can’t imagine they would possibly be interested in reading anything else I write. I hope they would shrug it off, decide my blog is OBVIOUSLY not worth reading, and go find another blog that is vastly superior to mine. (There are lots.)

So, I’m not going to fret about it. But on the off chance that I do have a reader or two who thought that was mean-spirited, yet still plans to visit from time-to-time — well, consider this my humble pie.

Lessons Learned the Hard Way: Making Spaghetti

I have mentioned a few times that there are people in this world who are amazingly logical, practical, and commonsensical (my sister is the Master). I have mentioned at least that often that I am not one of those people. This occasionally gets me into trouble.

Such as the fine Saturday afternoon, some nine years ago, when I decided to make spaghetti.

Now, I *had* made spaghetti quite often, thank-you-very-much. I didn’t cook for the family or anything growing up — my mom is a FANTASTIC cook — but I did know my way around a kitchen. I knew to boil the water, add a bit of oil before adding the noodles, and stir every once in a while as it boiled.

What I did not know was that the Pyrex warning — well, they really MEANT it.

You know the Pyrex warning, don’t you? The one that comes with every Pyrex container sold anywhere, ever?

“DO NOT Use On or Under a Flame or Other Direct Heat Source, including on a stovetop, under a broiler, on a grill or in a toaster oven.”

Ummmmmmm yeah.

Well, it’s not like I had lots of pots and pans lying about in my tiny dorm room. And I did NOT want to use the communal cookware in the dorm kitchen — some of those pots had clearly been used by Eve when she first set up house with Adam.  And just as clearly had not been cleaned since.

All I can say is, God (or Buddha or Shiva or The Great Pumpkin) really DOES look out for fools, drunks and small children.  (You could just substitute “college students” for “fools,” “drunks” or both, BTW.)  

I say this because I was across the room, reading at the table, when I learned why Pyrex includes that warning on their glassware.


If you case you were wondering . . . cleaning up a two-quart Pyrex bowl (busted into tiny coin-size shards), mixed with a pound of spaghetti and two quarts of boiling water, with a four-foot spray-radius — why, yes, it IS a rather unpleasant experience, thank you for asking.

(This post is dedicated to my old friend who had a spaghetti incident recently. You know who you are.)


4 Responses to “Lessons learned the hard way”

  1. Jeff said

    Pre-98 Pyrex is fine for heating things, because it was still made of borosilicate glass. In 1998, Corning sold the Pyrex brand to another company and it’s all regular tempered glass now. Pyrex branded lab glassware is still borosilicate. I have a 2L Erlenmeyer that I boil over an open flame all the time.

  2. Brad K. said

    That is cruel.

    Just like with the traditional spaghetti story (drop the spagetti in the sink while trying to drain it), you are *expected* to ‘fess up.

    Did you eat the spaghetti? Did you warn others sharing your meal?

    I mean, please. We are adults here. Share the important stuff!

    [LOL, Brad. No, I did not eat it. I’m not saying I didn’t eat some borderline disgusting foods back in college, but noodles-mixed-with-glass was too hardcore for me 🙂 — Lissa]

  3. Jay G. said

    I just want to state, for the record, that Lissa is one of the nicest people I’ve had the pleasure of meeting. She is an abundance of nice bordering on superabundance.

    Just don’t get in her way… 😉

    [ . . . or between her and her steak. Rawrrr. 🙂 Thanks Jay! — Lissa]

  4. mike w. said

    Ha! I did the same thing with a pyrex baking dish once. Scared the living shit out of me.

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