Sunday, September 30, 2012

Now It Looks As Though They're Here To Stay

I'm real behind on writing. P's been back for a month from his trip to Europe. We've just gone through a hurricane and many lives have changed dramatically. We were spared with no damage, thank goodness. However, I'm not going to lie my nerves are shot and generally when my paranoia's come true I can't help but feel an impending sense of doom regardless of details like reality. Actually, I think I was born with that so its really just about gauging the various levels of fear. I have an equally unhealthy longing for horridness matched with a paralyzing fear of it. Then sprinkle that with an obsession with both and you got my day to day nail-biting disposition.
But when P did come back on this night, hoarse voiced, dog tired, and all it was very much a relief and calming. That was a good night. I had thought maybe a hot comforting meal would be best. I did sour cream mash potatoes with braised brussel sprouts and a turkey meatloaf all hot out of the oven.
He was hours later than expected so it was a small bummer to keep up the enthusiasm. Especially when I have so little to give. I even waited outside for about an hour with a big goofy smile on my face but his cab never came. About a million others came to see some dippy strange broad waving and looking anxious. And no matter how happy I am, my face always looks pretty tired after 2 hours. The eyes never lie, unfortunately. But now looking back on it, all the troubles that day seem so small in comparison to what many people are going through a month later. This last few years has made me realize we are in a new world where natural disasters will become commonplace and normal griping about life is more of a privilege or a luxury.

Saturday, September 29, 2012

It's a Damn Shame

Our Autumn is finally starting to show with a few trees beginning to turn and some leaves on the ground. It feels like fall now. Fall is actually the best look I think for Brooklyn. The rustling trees and the colors, lack of sun, semi-gothic feel all match the old buildings and cracked sidewalks, iron gates, old trees...everything works. It's like a movie set. I took a walk to take it in and had a good day but as soon as the evening started to roll in, I got that sundown kinda feeling.
I never eat at McDonald's even though there are two within two blocks. It would be more tempting if you could trust fast food in Brooklyn but they keep the spaces so desolate and cracked out looking that you quickly lose your appetite and know deep in your gut its gonna be bad AND leave you feeling weird from the hollow vibes rolling around in these places.
However, the Atlantic Center has an upbeat McD's that looks to run efficiently and has a very steady traffic flow. It's clean, it's hopping, all good signs. So I went in and ordered me up a quarter pounder meal with a side cheeseburger. I was excited like a little kid to run home and make me a little bed picnic.
Cold McDonald's is somewhat like looking forward to opening a gift at Christmas and getting socks. It just is such a bummer. It was a quick walk home, so it had to have been sitting there for awhile. The fries too?! It's a damn shame....a damn shame.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

The Loving Was Easy, It's The Livin' That's Hard

Again, I'm behind on posts but I believe this was a tough week food and otherwise. But I was trying. A year ago I had made a super tasty chicken liver dinner over gnocchi and I wanted to see if I could improve on it. Another personal favorite of mine are chicken livers and P doesn't care for anything soft and mushy, so it was my chance to experiment while he was away.
I did an Italian recipe of gently sauteed livers in butter, garlic, tomatoes, kalamata olives & parsley. Very tender and almost there but I'll be honest....a bit of a liver failure. I just put them over toast and ate a few bites. Next time, I still don't think you need to batter and deep fry them but I'll get a harder crust of sorts on them because maybe when they're too tender, its a little creepy. After spending all that time, trying to get it right and looooosing, I had to just do a quick batch of cheese nachos and eat them quickly in a haze.
Chicken livers are the one delicacy that has stayed super duper cheap in the markets unlike a lot of the old discarded meat parts they've managed to hike up in price. I still love chicken livers, I just need to find that perfect recipe.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

That Was Then, This is Now

I'm way behind on posts but this picture clearly screams, home alone. This was a quick meal. I usually don't buy red meat but when you eat alone you can actually make quick use of a small pack of ground sirloin for like $3. Why not make a quick burger. One of the discoveries in New York City when I first moved here was some of the diner menu gems. One that I must have ordered a hunnerd times at the Evergreen Diner in midtown is the cheeseburger BLT. Let it sink in....a diner grilled cheeseburger patty with bacon on wheat toast, lettuce, tomato and my midwestern addition of mustard. The deluxe plate of course, with fries, coleslaw and pickles.
That was when I could actually eat that lunch and not either have a heart attack or look like I'm 6 months pregnant. These days I must pair it down quite a bit.

Monday, September 24, 2012

It's So Hard in the Middle of the Week, Maybe Greg Kelly is All I Need

I have a non-scary, perfectly normal TV crush on Greg Kelly. I'm not obsessed in a weird way. Yes the newscaster on Fox 5 News. I fell in love with Rosanna Scotto and Greg when they were the morning team for Good Day NY. They are real but way whacked out New Yorkers. Rosanna has no filter and once said jism on the air, which was hysterical. I remember choking on my cereal hearing it. They both might be idiots but for some reason, super likeable. Greg's our tough Irish commissioner's son and although he's had a perfectly respectable job history, he seems to be a bit of a wild card. Even his style of reporting is non-traditional. He says what he wants and he doesn't speak in that same rhythm that many do. His co-anchors always look terribly nervous and uncomfortable. He's not politically correct and his true passions always shine through which are trivia for songs, places, people and movies. That rape accusation thing was bogus and pure horse pooey. I love when people, alleged grown adults wave their freak flags. Its super inspiring. I wish more people would do it. And its also not at all suspicious that his mother is a regular customer of mine at work and whom I adore. They all look like cherub babies and those little smiling eyes are too cute! I would love them all in a collectables bobble-head set. But this is all because my life is sad right now and uneventful.
On this Monday, another week without the P-nut, I have two things to look forward to after my prison release (work shift end)...Greg Kelly at 6pm and thin spaghetti with a meat sauce.

Saturday, September 22, 2012

When You Walk Let Your Heart Lead the Way, You'll Find Love Everyday

Okay, another day off and the heaviness of my own self loathing seems to be lifting slightly. It's a beautiful day and I'm ashamed to say the only motivation for getting out is in picking up my new migraine medication at the Walgreen's down the street. But I took the longest route possible in order to force a good walk.
I couldn't help but check out the new Barclay's Center because its so obnoxious. Changes the entire look of that intersection which was butt-ugly anyway but at least you were still in a small neighborhood vibe feeling. The widening of the opening made short work of that.
Another high-rise is going up down the street and they painted the side of the William Morris Dance company across the street from BAM. Yawn. Sigh.
I ran into a street festival that almost popped me out of my funk. But not quite. Live music always perks me up but not this time.
Went back through to Barclays to stare again. Do I hate it? Am I excited? What's that dumb piece of dead grass thing about?
Is the scary half-empty side of that mini-mall across the street gonna get better shops and hopefully some overhead lighting?
I caught a construction worker over-looking the work ahead of him. Seemed important at the time. Now its just corny.
Went home and made a quick chicken fajita plate with the left over meat from the soup seasoned and heated with warm torts and all the fixings. Fade to grey.

Just kidding, I actually had a great time that day.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Where the Eagles Fly, On a Mountain High

Finally a day off. P's gone out of town and I've been writing about how all my cooking mojo has gone away because of that. But I think it could also be my rejection of this working lifes style. Look I don't mind work at all, in fact I love to be busy. I get that from both my parents. But if I'm gonna do something especially now at this time in history, it just seems SO much of a waste of time to do menial unimportant work. I need to make money, have health insurance and contribute to a 401K that I don't believe for one minute will be there when I retire by the way. But the fact doesn't change that I know in my heart what I get up and do everyday is stupid and meaningless. And I fear little by little this tears down your real spirit.
But when I have a day off it's like my whole being wakes up again and a renewed energy erupts with passions and interests, always ready to bloom again like the morning glories. And on these days I don't lose hope that I can find a place to earn a living and where work isn't a four letter word.
Chipotle chicken-lime tortilla soup is on today's menu! With homemade chicken stock, corn tortillas, lots of big pieces of chicken, kick-ass spicy broth and lots of vegetables and herbs, like corn, celery, onion, potatoes, carrots, lemons, cilantro, oregano. Then topped with crisp radishes,green onion, maybe a dollop of sour cream and crushed tortilla chips.
I know I didn't come all the way from podunk Indiana to New York just to put on an ugly yellow t-shirt and bitch everyday, although its easier than figuring a better path.
Mainly through my life I've figured a way out of work ruts. In Fort Wayne Indiana walking out of my dispensing optician shift at Lake Ave Optical with my ill-fitting nurses whites and into my yellow TR7 that looked great but barely ran and on the verge of my 21st birthday, I realized I needed to get out of town and made a commitment right then and there to make it happen. It didn't happen right away, but soon enough. I also recall after working for Virgin for several years we had a turnaround of CEO's and it seemed like our head office was whacked out, desperately trying new things. We had a conference where we had a spiritual advisor or some lame ass hippy title. She was obviously shtupping one of the tea bags. And had probably sold this whole scam of an idea to them over apple vodka martinis at the Standard Hotel bar where her sun-damaged skin and leather flip-flops must have held a droplet of hope for the aging brit. They flew us all to L.A. to sit in a circle and share our feelings in one of her god-awful meetings. She said the company was 'toxic'. I think we even had to take our shoes off, lights were lowered and there were candles. We were tasked to give brutal truths to one another. And my boss and confidant that thought he was Gram Parsons, said to me 'A, I wish you would bring us refreshingly good ideas you used to'. It killed me. Vince Syzdlowski was crying..out loud, it was horrible. I was so exhausted by trying to dance for those a-holes and nothing was good enough anymore. All our budgets were cut and we were supposed to bring 'even better' ideas each week that cost nothing. I remember his words playing over and over in my head for weeks. After that, I knew it was over for me. Unfortunately or luckily, my position was eliminated and I was let go.
Sometimes you make change and sometimes it happens to you.
So the moral of my story is Please get me the hell out of this job and into something cool!!! p.s. and P too!

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

The Krill is Gone

Okay, I've hit rock bottom in the grub cosmos. I'm eating Frozen Red Baron pizza, something I don't think I've ever done. Not because I'm a food snob but because I learned that homemade pizza is just too good NOT to make yourself, even if you take short cuts. (and I have two pizza places on my block). So why the creative void? Maybe P was my muse. I don't know. It doesn't seem like he influenced my cooking but there is no denying the room's gone black over here.
I asked P once if he came back as a living thing in the after life, what would it be. He said krill. One of a zillion little common crustaceans found in oceans all over the world. Not a tiger or a lion but krill.
And now the krill is gone and I can't seem to get my mojo back.

Monday, September 17, 2012

I Can't Go For That, No, No Can Do

I forgot that while P was off on his big European music tour (meant to be said mockingly) that I'd be shlepping to work each night and day just like normal. No fun for the food monkey. Again I turn to pasta but this time a slightly failed attempt at something interesting. Angel hair pasta with broccoli florets, turkey sausage, canned tomatoes and garlic. Not my best.

Speaking of not our for the 80's. They poison me with piped in pop music at work all day, rotating loops. Here and there, they switch over to 80's 'favorites'... And its even worse! Thompson Twins, Cutting Crew, even the people that once made good music really hit some lows in the 80's; Rolling Stones with 'Rock and a Hard Place', Aretha Franklin 'Who's Zoomin' Who', Elton John's I Guess That's Why They Call it the Blues, very sad. I worshiped Taupin. That can't be the same man who wrote Tiny Dancer. It's all so soul crushing. And to spend a whole day absorbing bad lyrics in harsh florescent lighting and then to come home and eat mediocre wonder I feel like Belinda Carlisle's scrunchy after an all weekend bender.

Chain of Fools

Monday brings a brand new week.... so I'm shifting my misery. I have a sparkly new manager that is hot off the prick press, reciting handbook jargon. And he's straight to boot. There is no god in retail.
He'll be much harder to control than the last one. This one has a bigger brain and tons of misguided vision. But just like the former, major ADD. Sometimes that comes in handy, just direct them to the shiny new handles and they're off like a special needs butterfly. He's also demanding we all open up our availability to nights and weekends..and weekend nights. In one swipe of his boney tattooed arm he's changed my whole world.
To deal with this I had only one choice but to march over to Not-Ray's Pizza and pick up two regular slices, lots of pepper flakes.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Heavy Blankets Cover Lonely Girls

Why and how is it that while P is away its cold and gloomy almost everyday so far. I had all these plans to LIVE like Auntie Mame. So far, I'm suffering lethargy and burping uncontrollably for unknown reasons. My head feels like it weighs about a hunnerd pounds. I've had major migraines and had to go to see a neurologist. This is nerd behavior not of someone that is fabulous.
Food-wise I had visions of making all these fun girly dishes with decadent cheeses or even indulging in baked sweets. I don't even feel like making myself tea. After work I shuffled into the single guys line at the Number One Chinese Restaurant down the street. We all took our white plastic bags home alone with our complimentary ice tea drinks without making eye contact.
This lo-mein was eaten with a certain amount of lo-shame, although I did finally get to order the chicken wings that P never wants and turns out for good reason. They suck. Straight to bed.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Ain't Nothing Like the Real Thing

Another solo meal. Beforehand I watched a bunch of food porn. Non-stop Food Network videos of mac and cheese variations. I was in a frenzy and could barely wait to eat by the time I pried myself from the computer so I had to make a quick stove-top tuna and noodle dish that slightly resembled my fantasy mac and cheese dish made by the Barefoot Contessa using mushrooms, wine and truffle butter. Truffle butter! That little Jeffrey husband of hers is one lucky stiff if you ask me. She knows how to make dinner that one.

Sunday, September 9, 2012

These Are a Few Of My Favorite Things

So now I'm a few days into P's time away. Food-wise I'm getting in my personal indulgences, like pulling out old favorite albums I haven't heard in a while. But I'm also trying to keep it semi-healthy and not go hog wild on the calories. Mod-er-a-tion. I hate that word.
P likes sparse nachos with just a smattering of cheese. I really love those too, as a matter of fact that is the way my folks served them at our restaurant growing up. A nice bubbling hot plate of chips, cheese and penos and a cup of warm fresh salsa side. That is a perfect taste combo. But I also can really get down with the taste of black beans, sour cream, cheese, pickled jalapenos, crisped up chorizo and pico de gallo, especially when it serves as a meal.

Friday, September 7, 2012

Here Comes That Rainy Day Feeling Again

But of course the first day P's gone brings cold, clouds and rain. The only dish that I know can fight those rainy day feelings is thin spaghetti with meat sauce.
This might take two servings.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

P's Leaving Home, Bye-Bye

P's leaving tomorrow night for a month of playing gigs over in Europe with J! This all corresponds with their new releases. Super exciting, super cool. We need to send him off with some celebrational food.
But its also super scary to think of being with myself for an entire month. Not because I'm a goofy girl that needs her man to feel right. No, I'm very happy that he's doing this and I support it and couldn't be more proud of him. Its a great opportunity to play these new songs out live and doing it here in Brooklyn would not be the same, let's face it. Europeans are much more accepting and gracious with musicians and anti-pop music it seems. Plus its good to road-test songs with fresh crowds you'll never see again I'm sure.
No, the reason its scary is because I'm kind of a nutcase. Time is not always my friend. Demons seem to follow me. I can go down, like Mary J Blige. I can have the best intentions but the dark cloud can come and drop down some heavy rains. I've been this way all my life. As I child I must have missed a day of school every week due to an unnamed condition at the time, which I later learned was my life-long bestie Miss Melan Choly. She's loyal to a fault that one.
But I stay optimistic because I'm an idiot and that's all I know how to do. Believe it will all be great in the end. Fear the worst, pray for the best. So anyway, what's for dinner?!
In the same vein, I like to believe there is power in foods made with love and purpose. I figure shrimp is something we don't eat every day and will prove special. Nice spicy pan grilled shrimp with fresh herbs and lemon! A big unlimited bowl. This to represent the bounty of good shows and experiences they would have along the way.
Next a cool crunchy fresh yogurt cucumber salad. This for lively, enthusiastic energy. Curried chick peas to welcome the unknown fun and surprises.
And lots of edemame just seasoned lightly with sesame oil and soy sauce, salt to embody substance and strength in their performances.
I choose to believe in hope, fun and dreams, something I denied myself for so many years. Bon Voyage P!