Friday, November 12, 2010

Thanksgiving musings whilst hungry at work

Aside from what will presumably be a main course protein of turkey, I've begun assembling some recipes that I've either clomped together myself or have drawn from another wonderful person or source and modified slightly or more significantly.

This one is unmodified, pulled from the Washington Post food section because it just sounds delicious.

This one I nabbed from a lovely food blog ( and modified slightly for my own taste.

This last one is a standard goat cheese custard that I've modified as either a rosemary or rosewater custard.

To be continued...

Wednesday, November 10, 2010


Wednesday. I've been doing a lot of thinking about headaches recently. This is most likely due to the headache, whose company I've been entertaining for the past 36 hours. I'm starting to toy with the idea that Lunesta may have some secondary uses as a pain reliever/anti-inflammatory. An idea only spurred by the fact that I continue to receive mailed warnings about my recent all-too-innocent Lunesta prescription. I'm so thoroughly terrified of becoming dependent on the stuff that I've only used it maybe 5 times in the past 3 weeks, I heardly think there's much danger that I'll become some strung-out Lunesta-peddling drug dealer.
Whilst I bitch - also endemic are hair and skin troubles. The haircut I liked when I got it has now decided on its true identity as the dreaded "mom" haircut. (None of the perks of motherhood with all of the dowd!) And my face has decided that its topmost 60% is 50 years old and it's bottom 40% is 14.
At least tomorrow's payday.

Monday, July 26, 2010

I wish

"I have learned not to worry about love; but to honor its coming with all my heart."
-Alice Walker

"we are the ones we have been waiting for"
-Alice Walker

Thursday, July 8, 2010

No better time to start

Please note that I started mentally typing this first sentence at least twelve times - each time with the word 'try' qualifying it in some respect. Apparently I'm already providing myself with an 'out.' How spineless must I be? So here I am physically forcing myself to not just 'try.'
So today I decided to start living my life like my life story. Although this has a very clear meaning in my own head, I'm not quite sure how to explain it to anyone else without sounding completely unstable. Suffice it to say that one thing that it definitely means is that I'm going to be doing this (makes emphatic shaking gesture with hands in air) a lot more often. This blog thing. Or at least making a concerted effort to do so. (Aaaaand there's the 'try' disclaimer.)
What I'd like to see happen (apparently now I am addressing concerned parents in a parent/teacher conference,) is this taking the place of my AM Farmville chores, which are my second largest time-suck when at work. It's mildly disturbing how one can become so duty-bound an imaginary farm. Also humiliating to admit in any sort of public setting. "Yes, we are neighbors in Farmville but ne'er shall we speak of it in polite company." Except the two neighbors you have who constantly want to discuss it. ("Have you finished building your Japanese barn yet???") And the one coworker you have who wants to discuss it even though you keep conveniently neglecting to add her as a friend despite repeated entreaties. I mean, hey, we all need more neighbors but one has to draw a line somewhere.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Because you never really know

"Even if I knew that tomorrow the world would go to pieces, I would still plant my apple tree."
-Martin Luther

Monday, June 28, 2010

Unfinished business

See, there's this book ( The long and short of it is that we all have unfinished business, and it likely compiles every day. I know that I, personally, don't have nearly enough days that I just live the crap out of.
Now, mind you, that I haven't even read this particular book yet. But it's such that I know I'm going to love it, just based on the idea of it. I love that someone thought about it and took the time to go back and finish some of his unfinished business. To thank people who have gone unthanked. To return library books and visit places and see sites.
Thinking about this, in terms of myself, leaves me daunted. I see my life as a minefield of opportunities wasted, regrets, lost friends. In fact, thinking about my unfinished business is not quite inspiring. So where do I go from here? Do I quit my job and make it my life's work to go back and revise all of the missed chances? Do I settle on just starting to leave no business unfinished from here on out?
At least I have no old library books to return.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Monday, June 14, 2010


"Maybe the camera crew is at someone else’s house, a spotlight haloing over another’s fleshy story. Maybe the mailman is delivering the good news to your neighbor, or a different city entirely,and you come home to a rash of catalogues, the second notice for a doctor’s bill, a plea from the do-gooders for whatever you can spare.
Maybe you haven’t cleaned your kitchen floor in weeks, forgotten to nourish the front garden, spilled too much coffee in your car, weaving through traffic.
Maybe you are 10 pounds heavier than last year.
Maybe your skin is betraying your age.
Maybe winter is ravaging your heart.
Maybe you are afraid, or lonely, or furious, or wanting out of every commitment you entered with vigor and trust.
Maybe you’ve bitten your nails down to the quick, chosen your meals badly, ignored the advice of those who know you best.
Maybe you are stubborn as a toddler.
Maybe you are clumsy or foolish or hasty or reckless.
Maybe you haven’t read all the books you’re supposed to.
Maybe your handwriting is still illegible after all these years.
Maybe you spent too much on a pair of shoes you didn’t need.
Maybe you left the window open and the rain ruined the cake.
Maybe you’ve destroyed everything you wanted to save.
If anything, believe in your own strange loveliness. How your body, even as it stumbles, angles for light.
The way you hold a dandelion with such yearning and tenderness, the whole world stops spinning."
Maya Stein

Friday, May 21, 2010


So we are all moved out now. Still moving in. We have one mocha-colored couch, one lovely 52'' TV, one squishy queen-sized bed, one neato leather coffee table. We have bought but have not yet had delivered one paisley chair with ottoman and one mocha matching (yes, thou reviled "matching") loveseat.
The home we are moving into is not perfect. It is a third floor apartment in an older development in the historic section of town. The walls are, as with every apartment I've even lived in, institutional grade white. There have been roach sightings. I am not 100% comfortable walking my dog about. It is imperfect. Above all else, I wish it were a house - no matter how small or old. Something that would be truly home, maybe even with a little postage stamp of a yard for Shelby. But with the boyfriend sans job right now and me ten years into a job I've never been in love with, a house seems a fever dream right now.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Love poem 2

Sleeplessly I watch over
the spring night—
but no amount of guarding
is enough to make it stay.
-Izumi Shikibu

Monday, May 3, 2010

Love poem

Come quickly—as soon as
these blossoms open,
they fall.
This world exists
as a sheen of dew on flowers.
- Izumi Shikibu

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

This is what happened

My home situation has not been the greatest, for a while now. The friend with whom I am living, and have been living with for 7 years total now has been having myriad issues - many concerning a certain male acquaintence of hers. As a result, there have been at least 3 restraining orders levied against this male acquaintence. That is the background.
Last Friday at about three in the morning, there was banging at our door. A lot. Based on my prior experience with the situation, I assumed it was him at the door. Locked out by her after she'd invited him over in violation of the most recent of the restraining orders. I ignored the banging. However, after a bit I threw my hands up, got out of bed, threw on running clothes and turned my fan off. At that point, I heard voices. Multiple voices, some female. It was the police. I unlocked and opened my bedroom door to find that he had piled furniture in front of the door. I later learned that he was barricaded in her bedroom and she had fled. I was alone with him.
I started trying to move the furniture from the door. I said "I'm trying to open the door." It became clear that nobody on the other side of the door had heard this when the police broke open the door and large chunks of it collided with me. My eyes and mouth were filled with the powdery, grainy innerds of our front door. There was yelling. The police had their guns drawn, they told me to show them hands, I could only clutch my injured eyes.
I sat out on our front step for a while. One male officer told me I was going to be under arrest, asked me in I was on drugs. Two female officers were more sympathetic. No one asked if I needed medical attention, despite the fact that I was bleeding from my lip and my eyes were full of debris. I felt awful, I felt like I'd done something wrong. I was also relieved that my dog hadn't been there, that I'd dropped her off at my parents' house just that week.
Later at the ER - after they'd refused to treat me at Urgent Care - I found out that I had corneal abrasions. I also had a badly bruised lip, so badly bruised that they checked my teeth to make sure none had been loosened. I had a scratch on my nose, a large bruise on my chest and later, I also developed a black eye. The black eye I'd always secretly wanted.
It seems to be over, at least for the time being. I'm moving May 7. Moving in with my boyfriend, someone I'd known in college. Someone who I trust with my dog, and who my dog adores.
I can't wait for normal. I can't wait to have a kitchen and cook our first meal in it. I can't wait to buy furniture and decorate and have some plants out on the balcony. I've been walking around with a smashed up face for almost a week now, I can't wait to have a new home.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

When he came for the family

"They looked at their daughter standing with her music
in her hand, the page covered with dots and
lines, with its shared language. They knew
families had been taken. What they did not know
was the way he would pick her cello up
by the scroll neck and take its amber
torso-shape and lift it and break it
against the fireplace. The brickwork crushed the
close-grained satiny wood, they stood and
stared at him."
-Sharon Olds

I love this. The picture it traces, and I'm trying to use 'trace' meaningfully here. I love the detail in the description of the cello, but I almost want to take the bones of the rest of the poem and fill them in to a similar degree. It's not to the point of frustration, but to the point of tantalization. ;o)

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

In our room

"On the strip between the lakes
I look for some trace of you
in everything that moves.
At the tip of its wake, a coot's
bone bill points through
the leaves' sponged-ink shade,
slate feathers splitting the air;
the water quivers, bright
as your bath-drenched hair
shaking off silvered bits.
A tern pulls up, tilting
through the spreading light,
then drops beak and body fast.
Two dark swifts dip past
swamp oaks like brown
twilight in our room, blinds
barring your face, while your lips
closed on some dream sound,
some word I didn't catch,
a wood-duck's straight-seamed wedge,
a cowbird shuddering from
the lake on loose bent wings."
-W. S. Di Piero

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Made in spain

Simply the best! I love this show for its content and its delivery. For its unabashed wackiness and its beauty and poetry. I wish I could adequately convey just how utterly charming and captivating Jose Andres is. Not to mention - hello, Spanish food!
What I wouldn't give to be eating this ( right now. Or this, It's rainy and, at 49, rather alarmingly chilly outside to compared to what it has been lately. This is why I end up addicted to food/travelogues.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Double down

I give you, reader, the Double Down. Weighing in at 540 calories and 23 grams of fat (and whether or not that includes all sandwich accoutrments is up for grabs,) it is KFC's answer to all the people who seem to be clinging to their Atkins and South Beach aspirations approximately half a dozen years later. What does this sandwich say about us as a culture, I ask you. It could be placed firmly in the Fear of Carbs camp (as a metaphor for our mob-mentality willingness to fear whatever it become strendy to be fearful of) if it weren't for that damn breading on the chicken. What lurks there? Hidden carbs. One might lean towards labelling this as Simple American Excess. Why adulterate the sheer, fatty pleasure of a fried chicken sandwich with bread when one can replace the bread with EVEN MORE sandwich content?! However despite the impressiveness of that big 540 cal/23 fat g, this is far from the (quote/unquote) worst sandwich available out there. But it IS bad for you. So maybe it's just the sheer ridiculousness of how it goes about its business of being bad for you. I mean, this sandwich doesn't go through any backbends and machinations of hiding that it might potentially be bad for you. It right up there in your face saying, "Look at me. I have no qualms about you knowing that I might be bad for you. I'm going to straight up show you by eliminating any lingering illusions of good health that might be present in a bun. AND you are still going to eat me. BaddaBOW!"
So, I'd conclude that this is an audacious sandwich. And we have to decide if this is a quality we might want in a friend.

A remedy for Insomnia

"Not sheep coming down the hills,
not cracks on the ceiling—
count the ones you loved,
the former tenants of dreams
who would keep you awake,
once meant the world to you,
rocked you in their arms,
those who loved you . . .
You will fall asleep, by dawn, in tears."

- Vera Pavlova

I like the word insomnia, though not the implications. I think there's something about the m-into-n sound that becomes so musical surrounded by all those disparate vowels in such close proximity.

Friday, April 9, 2010


Today I feel heavy. And actually, yesterday felt much the same. Not heavy as in overweight or fat, this would be something tangible with a set course of action engendered by the very definition of it. The heavy I feel is of the non-literal sort. I feel burdened, encumbered. Every cell of my body burstingly full of lead or plutonium-244. My limbs are slow to wake and respond, animated by underwater reflexes. They impede eachother in their tedious progress.

Thursday, April 8, 2010


"To what purpose, April, do you return again?
Beauty is not enough. You can no longer quiet me with the redness
Of little leaves opening stickily
I know what I know.
The sun is hot on my neck as I observe
The spikes of the crocus.
The smell of the earth is good.
It is apparent that there is no death
But what does that signify?
Not only under the ground are the brains of men
Eaten by maggots.
Life in itself
Is nothing,
An empty cup, a flight of uncarpeted stairs.
It is not enough that yearly, down this hill, April
Comes like an idiot, babbling and strewing flowers."
-Edna St. Vincent Millay

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Oh, please no

In 1825, the French philosopher Jean Anthelme Brillat-Savarin wrote, “Tell me what you eat, and I will tell you what you are.”

Tuesday, March 30, 2010


by Alice Fulton

born gorgeous with nerves, with brains
the pink of silver polish or
jellyfish wafting ornately
through the body below.
An invertebrate cooing
on the mother
tongue shushes and lulls them into thinking
all is well. As they grow they learn
salvage: tear-out
guides to happiness say apologies can outshine
lies, guilt be lickspittled from their lives, bad
glycerined to good. Like a child's first school pencils
in their formal brilliance
and sharp new smells, they lie
as lovers. Maybe one cries
the wrong name and the night skinning
them pleasantly alive
leaps away in shards.
Then it's time for restitution:
a tin of homebaked,
holding gingham safety, fetal
as the light through mason jars of beets and brine,
or jewelry, clasping and unclasping
aisles of fluorescence from great department stores,
a distracting plenitude, and tempting.
Still, the beloved may stay bitter as an ear
the tongue pressed
into, unwanted.
And the word end: spiney, finally-formed,
indents them and is
understood. They learn
the hard way as hurts
accrue, and the brain is cratered as a rock
by rain that fell ages past
on unprotected mud. An insult keeps
despite apologies. When it vaporizes at last,
its space fills with grains that harden
to a fossil shaped exactly
like the insult.
They grow up when they know that
only a gesture responsive as a heart-
shaped parachute above a jump
a life depends on
to be perfect
the first time will ever do.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Late for work, cursing school buses and attempting to do physical therapy exercises while driving was how she found me. Sucking down bus fumes, I watched as a car caught her and spun her. It had barely been going thirty, if that, on a four lane stretch of road occupied by three yellow buses in very close proximity, all flashing lights and outstretched stop signs. How confusing it must have been for her, even at that speed, tying to follow the primal paths branded deep into her DNA. The car must have hit her low, she spun halfway around then crumpled. Then my line of sight was ever so briefly blocked. When I caught sight of her again, she was laid down on the road, legs beneath her. With her single intact leg, she kept reaching out, trying to pull herself to her feet. Her neck straining forward, towards escape. It was obvious, this would not be accomplished. Her three other legs were splintered beneath her. It was silly to think I could imagine the stark fear, pain and confusion she must have been feeling. Silly, when I could so easily just continue on my way. And what is one animal's suffering to us, all sheathed in our business and self-importance?
It's seems always to be when we are at our most hurried, harried, hectic state that life grabs us and spins us round. Our mundane, routine, banal interrupted by someone elses' devastation.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

A poem about geese

Wild Geese
You do not have to be good.
You do not have to walk on your knees
for a hundred miles through the desert, repenting.
You only have to let the soft animal of your body
love what it loves.
Tell me about despair, yours, and I will tell you mine.
Meanwhile the world goes on.
Meanwhile the sun and the clear pebbles of the rain
are moving across the landscapes,
over the prairies and the deep trees,
the mountains and the rivers.
Meanwhile the wild geese, high in the clean blue air,
are heading home again.
Whoever you are, no matter how lonely,
the world offers itself to your imagination,
calls to you like the wild geese, harsh and exciting
--over and over announcing your place
in the family of things.
© Mary Oliver

There are a few things about this poem that I really, really like. That are resonant. I love some of the very first lines, "You do not have to be good. You do not have to walk on your knees for a hundred miles through the desert, repenting. You only have to let the soft animal of your body love what it loves." I love the image of relenting and letting "the soft animal of your body love what it loves." Usually in the body/mind divide, the body is branded as this raw, primitive, barbaric thing mastered by the brain only through constant grappling. I love the idea that your body is this separate, gentle being that only desires to love. I also like "the clear pebbles of rain." When the verse finds its way to the geese, it ends up losing me - I am anti-goose for my own petty reasons.

Graffiti seen around my neighborhood

"NARC" carved into the sidewalk.

"Mortons absolutely the BEST PRIME" sharpied onto the remnants of a sticker on the back of a signpost.

Please discuss amongst yourselves.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Rainy day

Apparently, I will be quietly coloring with my crayons inside all weekend. Actually there's a snowball's chance in hell that I'll actually make good on that. I'm sure I'll be flitting here and there per usual, leaving my poor dog to wonder if Mama's a by-the-hour escort.