Monday, December 31, 2018

Nothing Changes on New Year's Day

Catching up on some disgustingly old posts.  New Year's Eve 2018 as a matter of fact.  No recollection of this holiday whatsoever.  It was raining apparently and the picture shows I had a nice breakfast.  Some type of egg vegetable scramble and then perhaps later a slice of pizza with some salad.  Because....also apparent here is that I'm boring as heck!!! 

Friday, December 28, 2018

It Feels Like I'm Dyin', Never Gonna Live Again

Sometimes I consider suicide.  I'm sure other people do too and probably more often than most admit.  I feel in life you should give every idea some thought.  Some say it's the worst thing but in fact the absolute worst things are much worse.  Killing kittens, slapping a baby, tripping the elderly or harming anyone is more extreme. I don't like to think about how I'd do it, that's way too morbid.  And as soon as I think of anyone being sad about it, I stop.  I guess I believe it's selfish and irresponsible.  That's such a Catholic thing, guilt for feeling depressed.  It's as if we can't let ourselves enjoy even our worst emotions in peace.
In examining the concept, I have discovered similar to using a method of playing super sad music and slowly progressing to happy tunes, really digging in and contemplating suicide can be very therapeutic. First you start off hopeless and feeling like nothing you could ever do will help your situation.  Let your mind go limp, it's over, nonsense stopped.  Fully decide to quit living and be good with that. Then for however long it takes, picture yourself completely gone.  Everything in your world evaporated.  No more access to your things, all that horribleness you thought to leave behind no longer exists.  Turns out that's not such a great feeling after all.  Nonexistence is blank.  Eventually with nothing left of yourself, you begin imagining others, the people in your life sitting with their grief and that is also not good.  You're sad already, the last thing you want to do is make people hurt.  So this begins the slow climb back up the emotional ladder.  Its simple math or something.  You just can't do it.  It's never the right thing. Nothing is so bad as to equal self induced death.

Basically if you were just considering death, after that it's all pretty much up hill.  Life isn't so bad if you take all possible pressure off yourself. All you have to do is just breathe and take the next step. 

Today's troubles are enough for today.

Sometimes it feels like every single thing is connected. If all that matters is that I don't off myself, then certainly the burden of creating an amazing dinner is lifted as well.
P was out of town so I made Cincinnati Chili with leftover spaghetti and meat sauce.  It's surprising how quickly one can transform into the other with a bit of chili powder and Cheddar Cheese.  My first portion had the noodles separated from the sauce and cold cheddar on top as it should be.  The next helping I just schlepped it in the pan on high heat.

At the Dark End of the Street, Just You and Me

This was a strange meal that was not very attractive.  Sometimes meals reflect your state of mind. P had gone to visit family for Christmas and was coming home late.  I don't remember this at all now but given those facts and these pics, I'm pretty positive I was in an odd mindset.  Not necessarily a bad place but with ample time to listen to my own thoughts I will always shift realities. Leave the scene so to speak.  As if I step into another available vehicle where my bank of thinking is different and my cooking as well.  So much so, that many times I can't even make a crude tomato sauce for pasta.  That makes you wonder where creativity comes from exactly or for that matter memory of skills you've learned but suddenly have no access to.
This shows my desire to have a nice dinner in celebration of him coming home, yet possibly not able to get myself to the store, or together enough to make it happen. So this plate displays what I was capable of that day, which looks as disjointed as my mind. 
The chicken was great, a seasoned crispy baked thigh with pesto and mozzarella.  Red rice with garlic and herbs.  Okay, but then the sides are roasted celery, peppers, carrots and onions.  It's just fairly odd, like me on some days.

Tuesday, December 25, 2018

We All Will Be Together, If the Fates Allow

I have no recollection of any of this now, but apparently I spent Christmas alone this year.  I worked on Christmas Eve and the days after so P must have gone to visit his family.  I made a skillet version of Baked Spaghetti Supreme from back in the pizza restaurant days of my youth.  Olives, mushrooms, turkey pepperoni and plenty of mozzarella topped the al dente noodles.  I do remember there was never enough sauce back in high school, so I gave the extra helping before putting it all under the broiler to melt that cheese. 
I'm nothing if not consistent.  Reaching for my soul saving memory comfort foods when alone.

Saturday, December 22, 2018

Surrender, But Don't Give Yourself Away

Memory Spaghetti
Every year I try to make a personal Christmas card but this year, I kept my idea process going well into January and never produced a thing.  But at the last minute, I cranked out this cheater quick Instagram sentiment using a retro Polaroid photo from a session we did back in the early 90's in San Francisco at our apartment in the Tenderloin District.
These old cut up Polaroids are a great reminder of life before computers and phones. And that it's so important to keep creating and enjoying yourself through all points of life because those are the only times you'll actually remember when looking back.  In the end, it's all concentrated down into those fragmented moments, what you created and the rest just disappears.
Not to say the quality, quiet non-eventful times aren't important and essential to live because I do believe that is the black matter, that holds reality all together.  I guess you need a great mix of the two.  I require more down time then the average bear but like to have a few projects going.  As the girl I tend to do most of the actual house tending which is only an issue when I don't have enough time for myself.

Friday, December 21, 2018

Running with the Devil

This was a deconstucted chicken and zucchini dish that my mom used to do.  Mainly it's reminder that corn and summer squash are amazing in winter.  I browned the chicken first then put it in the oven with corn, tomatoes, stock, zucchini, garlic and onions.  It's best over Mexican rice.

I literally ran to the migraine doctor on this day because she always fills up and you can't be late or they will berate you in front of the other head sufferers.  I needed her, the headaches have been chronic again.  But I won't forget the faces I passed on the street that day looking back at me. What a movie type scene, running through the Brooklyn Downtown crowds, melting snow on the ground, saying excuse me and half touching people as to not run into them while they're carrying their holiday booty.  Darting left and right, I realized it was great to know I am able to run when pressed for an extended period, about 7 blocks.  I'm no Tom Cruise, but the old, if you don't use it you lose it scare does happen with these types of skills.  Somewhere along the road I lost my ability to really sprint fast before my bike knees says um, no that's not gonna happen.  You don't get a notice, it just goes away so it's good to take it out for a road test from time to time. 

Sunday, December 16, 2018

So Far Away, Doesn't Anybody Stay in One Place Anymore

Click on this!
I don't have a bucket list but if I did, climbing a mountain wouldn't be one of my top five. One would be getting to know each of my siblings better.  If the universe worked as it should, my brother E and I would be much closer, just naturally.  Of all the people I meet, I do admit family members are some of the most fascinating.  E was always so full of energy and fun, a joyful personality.  When he finally came home from Vietnam, he lived with us for a short time but was gone a lot.  He was not one to sit still.  He had been a sergeant in the Marines.  So in the few weeks or months he was there I recall learning how to make tight bed corners and how to fold his socks and t-shirts neatly in compartmentalized drawers for him. You see, now things were much different and he needed everything to be just so.  And he was cool in addition to being awesome.  He rode his motorcycle in his army jacket and pulled up real loud so the neighbors came out.  That gave me some street cred, in my mind.  He had a guitar that he'd strum like in the movies and seemed to have a bunch of new layers on him.  Sometimes I'd just lay on his bed and daydream while he was gone because it felt like he brought that someplace else with him and you could feel it in that room. 

I felt so close to my brother when I was very small.  He seemed to acknowledge me like a real person, not just some kid.  That made me feel important. Doesn't sound like much but it was everything at that time.  He found a steady girlfriend pretty early on and I wasn't all that keen on sharing him but whatever he was doing out there at night was gaining him popularity, so much I hardly had any time with him to myself anymore. Eventually I had to let him grow and go.  And he did go, all the way to Vietnam for what felt like forever.
His return pretty much changed up my entire boring existence in that house.  I was pre teen and pre everything else. Not quite old enough to do squat.  Any outing was with my parents and I don't recall having friends.  When we went away to buy groceries or go to church he would enter little comedy sketches on my tape recorder and we'd find them when we came back, like little gifts.  We laughed and laughed and I was surprised dad got a real kick out of them too.  It was Saturday Night Live skit stuff before the show existed. Mom was always more skeptical.  She'd ask what was he doing to be so happy and different?  Of course she was probably right but I was all for it. Anything for a little excitement around there. 
You have to bring the party to your food on these boring days as well. I made a kick ass simple little coleslaw using cabbage and capers, a bit of vinegar with mayo and lemon.  And these spicy baked potato chips alongside a naked cheeseburger hit the spot.

Wednesday, December 12, 2018

I've Been Up and Down and Over and Out and I Know One Thing

Health Bread Pizza Toast
Turkey pepperoni and asparagus on 12 Grain Toast
Sometimes I think we ought to invest in life classes or possibly whole schools that teach you about what is most important in life according to our greatest critical thinkers. And starting at a young age too because these big concepts need mulled over for years and mixed in slowly like milk to the roux.  You can't fully learn this stuff but if it's part of your daily intake, maybe you absorb some of it. But staring at 57 years in it's seasoned face, I feel like the things I know could fit on one sheet of paper.  One item I would communicate to kids from the start is that there is life and then there is your life. Life is everything that happens around you but your life is made up of millions of decisions a day.  I would say the trick is to hold the proper balance of the two dimensions in your mind at all times.  Not solely focused on your own life, but allowing too much in of everything else, is not healthy either.  Keep it simple.  Maintain your relationship with self but don't acknowledge it too much. Try to give your time and energy to others but like on a plane, put your own oxygen mask on first.  Harmonize your chi and learn to suffer gracefully.
They say we're all looking for more meaning in life.  I do meet people that will allow their guard to come down here and there but overall, I wish I saw that yearning more often in the eyes of strangers.  Maybe we all hold those cards pretty close to our chest.  I'm locked up tighter than a mason jar myself.  I feel seriously invaded when someone simply asks me my name at work. That's how open I am.  I tend to trust these new younger people though.  I study them, see how they are viewing the current world. I figure they will live differently, because how could they not?  In just one generation, kids experience their days a far cry from ours.  They don't have the line drawn for them leading to marriage, buying a house, raising multiple children, building a retirement fund.  That line not only existed for us but was constantly reinforced at home, talked about in school, all over the television, media, and through books.  God was there for us too, in school, at home, and in church.  Maybe it was someone else's definition of God but I could warm my life by their beliefs and decide for myself later.  These were people I loved and trusted.  That's all changed for kids now. They are not being taught about any higher powers other then themselves.  Sex is nothing of value or meaning.  Their body is not sacred.  The world is not a mystery.  There are a lot of negatives but also many new unique opportunities for them to go beyond our shortcomings without all these walls up.
I've stayed pretty clear of the norm all my life but have definitely fell prey to it's manipulation in lots of other ways.  Just because I didn't participate in the advertised American dream, doesn't mean I didn't believe it could come true had I decided to chase it.  I liked knowing it was out there.  What do our youth strive for or want to achieve now?  Will they come closer to mindfulness and peace as a measure of success instead of some cookie cutter pathway to an outdated definition?

Tuesday, December 11, 2018

I Got a Feeling Called the Blues Oh Lord, Since My Baby Said Goodbye

Pre-Christmas Holiday Dinner
P was leaving to spend Christmas with his family in Illinois on the river and being the retail rat, I stayed behind to work the shit shifts and drown in doubt and self pity.  Before he left I made an after work version of a Holiday dinner with a spiral ham, sauteed cabbage and an amazing lightened up Scalloped Potatoes using 3 kinds of potatoes included sweet.  So good.

I also used real honey from my sister in law's bees
Baked Honey Glazed Spiral Ham
Lightened up Scalloped Potatoes

Monday, December 10, 2018

It'll Be Just Like Starting Over

A cheap steak with bleu cheese, cooked with plenty of butter and high heat.  I don't always get meat right but when I do, it's surprising even to me.  The oddities that happen with me when cooking steaks or chops are an unknown phenomenon.  I start with good intent but then for whatever reason, there are these tiny moments of bad reasoning and decisions.  Like, not allowing the steaks to get room temperature.  Or not blotting them dry of all moisture.  Here and there I've not allowed the pan to reach a high enough heat before dropping the meat down.  I've been guilty of putting partially frozen chicken in the pan.  Not to mention the atrocities I've committed with potatoes.  I guess the mystery is that I do know better but for whatever reason, I screw up.  I just do the wrong thing.  Perhaps its part of learning but I feel I my relearning need is constant.  As if I begin the process every time I hit that kitchen. Even while part of me is saying to the other part during the screw up, 'um, that's not how it's done', I continue.  Unexplained mysteries.
P started a new job recently and he has a clean slate with bosses and coworkers.  I sort of envy him and also feel nervous because all of that is also very difficult on your nerves.  But he worked for many years with his previous building and all the bad habits, or weird relationships, incorrect handling of matters through time is completely gone and he can now begin again. 

Thursday, December 6, 2018

A Long, Long Time Ago, I Can Still Remember How

Lean Crust Pizza slices and a special treat of their Spaghetti and Meatballs.
I have to say for take out pasta, this was super delicious and al dente, perfectly cooked and the meatballs were bursting with flavor as was the sauce.  I can't remember the last time I ordered take out spaghetti and it was anything but mushy.  Of course that's my fault because who orders spaghetti for take out but sometimes you just gotta have it.   The salad was equally incredible with anchovies, capers, artichoke hearts, peppers.  This was 7 months ago but I can still taste it in my food sensie recall. 

Monday, December 3, 2018

Baby, You're No Good

Potato Corn Chowder
I'm writing this over a month of trying out this new herbal supplement for anxiety and stress, while improving energy.  Sounded great and they actually were pretty amazing for like 3 weeks.  I felt a burst of fresh creative energy and woke up around 5am without any struggle.  So that was obviously new.  I didn't just wake but I wrote and did yoga without whining.  I didn't feel sleepy midday nor need a nap. That was almost worth the whole experience.  It sort of died down and eventually flattened out entirely.  Then I started feeling nausea all the time and lost my appetite which is also new.  I'm going to discontinue use.  I get migraines. I don't need more nonsense.  I'm looking for help not more problems.  But darn it I really had high hopes for this stuff.  

This potato corn chowder with a chopped ham steak was everything I needed though and even though it will too go away, I would highly recommend whipping up a pot of this original recipe posted on Creamy Ham Potato Chowder. 
I used Almond Milk and Yogurt instead of sour cream, however I'm not opposed to going for the full fat.  This is a full meal.  Crusty bread would be ideal but again, trying to stay away from migraine inducing bread.  So go for the bacon and green onion topping because if you want to talk about something that automatically releases serotonin.  Have you even been sad while eating bacon?