Saturday, August 31, 2019

Not Bad Meaning Bad But Bad Meaning Good

Staff Cafeteria Chicken and Waffles, with wedges of watermelon side. 

Bad good food is especially tasty when you least expect it.  And the last place I'd expect something fun lately is our staff cafeteria at work.  They had violations for everything under the sun, and had to close down operations but they have to provide food, so they rigged up some long-term temporary-looking heating units.  Since then they've warmed up those damn Swedish meatballs so many days in a row I have to remind myself I'm not in prison.  Thank goodness we get corporate visitors here and there.  Miraculously when we do, they figure a way to dish out fresh, interesting lunches. Like this fried chicken and waffles with watermelon wedges on the side.  The big wigs must have eaten early though because by the time I got to the line the waffles were cold, the syrup was no longer heated and the butter was gone.  But it was still delicious in the middle of a midweek work day. 

Friday, August 30, 2019

Say You'll Always Be My Baby We Can Make It Shine

Every day that I take the time to stop at the water behind my job to watch the fish swim in schools around the edge of the pier it changes my entire day.  Something so simple can make such a difference.  The butterfly effect so to speak.  Whatever negativity I may have carried with me to that water, I gently toss over the side and the channel replaces it with the thoughts of hundreds of little tiny fish, ducks, sea gulls, butterflies and somehow my day doesn't suck as much.  I want to believe that I have it in me to want to be happy.  That I'm not such a miserable old soul that I give up entirely on living joyful, finding good, kissing and being kissed.  I'm constantly giving myself little pep talks, motivational lectures.  There is no reason why I shouldn't want to have nice things.  Sometimes I pull so hard on the reins of my spirit that I seize up when all I really wanted was to make it go. 
I found these pork steaks that are even better than chops because they are thin, still have a bone for added flavor but you can spice them well and cook them up quickly.  Black and Red rice with roasted vegetables and thyme
Image result for willy wonka gifs
If you want to view paradise
Simply look around and view it
Anything you want to, do it
                                             Wanta change the world?
There's nothing
To it
There is no
Life I know
To compare with
Pure imagination
Living there
You'll be free
If you truly
Wish to be

Thursday, August 29, 2019

If You a Loser or a Winning Man

The Fulton Mall Downtown Brooklyn
When I first came to New York one of the first things I noticed was there were tons of straight men that were not shy in their pursuit of women. In San Francisco from where I came, you truly could start to believe the species no longer existed.  That they had been replaced by plant-based, non muscly shoe-gazers that mainly wanted to be your friend and who always came with some gay leanings.  Coming from that extreme, so protected, it was almost vulgar the way these manly men spoke here, the way they looked you up and down, without shame.  I was able to roam free with just flimsy bras and slutty clothes without notice in SF where here I quickly learned to keep my naughty parts under wraps.  I also learned that procreation was king out here.  Men were looking to spread their sperm and women were looking to breed.  Even the bodies were different, everyone seemed to come in a larger size.   The whole social process was turned up to 11.  I was out of my element and realized I needed to just move out of the way.  I was a shapeless little waif, in my mid 30's still not understanding the meaning or value of life.  I was not even in this game.  The big money rat race was it's own monster while the underbelly was all these good people coming to this country to make futures and families.  I always loved New York and wanted so much to be a part of its core.  I think now I realize you can come and watch but I could no more be a New Yorker than I could be an Asian.  But it has a lot to teach nonetheless.
You think nothing ever changes and then it does.  The Fulton Mall in downtown Brooklyn has changed over the last 5 years but its been subtle.  The landscape is making big strides with new high rises going up right and left.  All the ridiculous shops that lined the streets are closing one by one and being replaced by recognizable brand names, which is good for shopping.  It's still a little sad to see a piece of old New York fade away.
Now the streets of Manhattan is filled with more metro-sexuals and the mating game is far less serious I guess because the stakes are not as high.  It was a good lesson though for me to learn that men find women and vise-versa for real purpose and not just fun and laughs.  That the whole mating ritual was not solely for quick pleasures but like worker ants, this was an entire system with structure.
This Accordion Chicken Primavera had great structure as it was filled with zucchini, tomatoes, spinach and mushrooms. 

Monday, August 26, 2019

Fish Are Jumpin' and the Cotton is High

Chicken Apple Yogurt Salad
I have to be honest about the greatness of this salad made with hunks of roasted chicken, chunky bits of apple and then smaller bites of crunchy celery, walnuts and yogurt to replace mayonnaise. Cool and creamy, tangy and sweet.

Just like the bright freshness of this amazing summer salad, I was surprised by a giant school of medium sized fish today at my favorite spot by the water and piers.  They seemed to play and jump in circles awhile before moving on.  To witness such a wondrous thing that seems it's just for you alone, can and did change my entire day.
Great picture Dweeb!!! 

Monday, August 19, 2019

Light After Darkness, That is the Way

On yet another way too hot day, I rode my bike to work.  As I drove down State Street I saw a rat that had just been hit or killed so instead of being smashed flat on the ground like all of the rest of the rats I have ever seen on the road, this one was just lying there, all chubby and healthy looking, yet dead.  I thought about him, how hard it is to feel for a dead street rat but what it possibly says about us or me in particular.  But in that moment, just killed, somehow I was filled with compassion.  It felt like nature was giving me a riddle.  
 I thought about the little guy some more, about how unbelievably hot it was outside as I rode along.  Considered how much I may sweat when I stop.  I wondered how hot you could actually get before you got sick and passed out, or died.  As I was pulling in to the parking lot, I notice a pigeon, large and also laying on the ground, looking pretty freshly dead.  I thought how odd this was, now a little stunned, to see two just killed animals, albeit ones that we all pass without much thought.  How did it happen?  The bird did not look hit by a car, just tipped over like a cow.  Could it have reached the end of its life right on my pathway by chance?  So I continue on to lock up my bike where you can see through the building onto the other side, which is the front of the store.  I see this man riding his bike but stopping suddenly the way I would if I saw a $20 dollar bill on the ground.  Soon I realize it's something like an animal flopping.  I come up to the front of the building and see that it's a tiny sparrow, dying in real time on the hot pavement.  I asked if he hit it and he said no, that he saw it just lying there in the road.  I immediately spout out my tale and he doesn't seem too affected, barely listening. But as I tell it, I'm more freaked out.  I shut up, we don't know each other.  I just watch as he carefully picks up the tiny bird and tries to make it drink water.  He assesses it, tells me it's a girl.  I ask him how he knows and I forgot what he even said.  I knew this wasn't a dream because I would never go to work in my right state of sleep.  And it was hot, so hot.  I was coming in to cover someone who had called out.  I needed to get inside and clock in but this was so incredible.  He ignored me opening the employee entrance door and saying it was nice to meet him, so then I thanked him louder for being such a good person.  He ignores that and tells me 'it can't drink water, it's neck is broken'.  He goes on to say, his little beak is leaking something.  He says, 'it's not going to survive'.  Then I realized it was best to just let this wash over me because it felt important.  I let the door closed and came closer to him.  We decided it would likely die but we weren't going to kill it because we couldn't be sure.  It could just come alive and fly off.  What a nice thought.   I didn't know what to do so I snapped a picture.  Such a weird gesture. 
Later I tried to tell the story to a few coworkers and one lady told me right away, 'That means something really good is going to happen to you!' and for a second I got really excited but then quickly dropped my smile, because I knew that was wrong, it was so wrong.  This was telling me that something, maybe 3 bad things were going to happen and as soon as I thought it I'm pretty sure I made it true.   And as fate would have it, one of them already did just a week later.

Sunday, August 18, 2019

There's Something Wrong with the World Today

I once shamed P in front of his sister and girlfriend for not helping with most chores or cooking even though he's quite good at making meat.  Enough so that there was a streak where he did prepare a few meals in a short period of time.  Like this one of steak, baked potatoes and salad.  What a treat for someone to prepare a meal for you.
I have maybe the last remaining remnants of the old Midwestern wife in me.  I was the last girl born at the tale end of the baby-boomer generation, and the start of something brand new.  In general I've always felt that I was living on the edge of an era, that I was like the closing crew coming in to shut shit down.  I predict that marriage roles are going to change drastically in the next years.  It already has for so many including us.  We've never joined our money, we split rent, and married 25+ years into the relationship living as roommates for large chunks of that time but yet I make the meals, clean, shop for food and furnish the apartment, make it home for the most part and he's always taken care of all the utilities, repairs, landlords, taxes, 401ks, garbage, heavy lifting.  He's like the back end guy and I'm front of house.  I guess marriage can be anything you make it but it's also a business arrangement with someone you love, run like the labor union.  It's just that now I think someone has to step in and renegotiate those women's contracts.  

Monday, August 12, 2019

You're a Superstar, Yes That's What You Are, You Know it

Everywhere I go there are little purple flowers that show my mom's influence from heaven. 

Fashion is pretty out there right now for celebrities for sure but unlike the shocking punk era, more and more regular folks have all kinds of hair colors, are wearing pants of every shape and size and in general, having a real go at self expression.  Its so subtle, it can go unnoticed but if you pay attention, you'll see some radical ways of looking modern normal, I'll call it.   Where I work, there is an entire more distinct revolution in hair design going on that sometimes makes me gasp.  Colors and lengths never imagined.  Even though I don't follow the industry of fashion, I've always been super interested that it mirrors society and what is going on politically.  In New York there is a global language so it varies quite a bit.  And the internet world bleeds out onto the streets by showing its influence as well.  It's just an observation that many young girls dress like they are celebrities.  And I only sneer at this because I believe the focus should be on the producing of artful things.  You become worthy of looking interesting when you are indeed that.  Its more of an organic process where you transform. But sometimes you gotta look it to be it, so whatever works. I'm pro-mixing it up actually because inspiration sometimes comes from within. 

This is me trying to look fancy and impress my mom on a visit back to Fort Wayne after I had left to become something.

There are still plenty of old school Brooklynites in their giant shorts and bad muscle tees with sports logos or super hero characters and their wives squeezed like sausage into some too tight non-breathing fabric.  So it balances out.  You really can't count what goes on in Manhattan because it's no longer a real borough but a giant outdoor mall filled with visitors. 
I dressed up a traditional recipe to fit the times with this Ground Turkey Zstrogonoff made with zucchini ribbons.  Yogurt and lemon replaced the sour cream.  Plenty of fresh thyme brightened the whole vibe of the pan.  This was a winner in both the visual and taste categories.

Where Do They All Belong

Chicken Vegetable Soup with Black Rice
Garden chicken vegetable soup with a black rice mixed in.  I love a sturdy rice in a soup to give it a bit of nuttiness amidst all of these soft fresh tasting herbs and vegetables.

I took a walk around Fort Greene park, and after what seemed like hundreds of pregnant women, I passed a circle of parents with small toddler aged children, all gathered round watching them play together.  I wondered if they all knew each other or naturally formed friendships based on their child's compatibility.  Further down, I passed another circle, this time of dogs and their owners.  They also seemed to be chatting each other up turning this into a social event.  Walking alone childless and dogless, I went to visit my friends, the trees.   There is something for everyone in a park.

Sunday, August 11, 2019

You Don't Know Me, Fool!

Do you like your name being recited by strangers?  I was in an appointment at work and ended up in a long discussion about calling one by their proper name.  Spoiler alert, I'm not into it.  People like to introduce themselves and that's normal. I'm not normal.  For example I cringe a little when I see someone approaching all proud with their arm extended for a promised handshake. I just know they're gonna say, Hi, I'm whozitsorother and then demand my name.  I never remember what they say by the way. I don't process people like that.  I just need to look at them to see who they are, stand in their presence for a moment, feel them.  I'm not as interested in a description someone gave the day you were born.  This is when I really feel my tiny percent of Indian blood.

And I'm talking at work. These aren't friends, these aren't people I want to know.  It's business and I'm getting paid but the longer I'm in it the more I resent abiding by so many social constructs that I'm not comfortable with.  In a recent memo someone who apparently gets paid way too much writes this whole schpeel on introducing yourself, how we should state the customers name back to them and repeatedly.  That this will make them feel special, like they are someone important.  I'm not even going to touch on how insulting that is for a grown person to read.  But it does help explain how our company is failing right now that some Captain Obvious has been hired to express these ideas.  My issue, honestly is that you gotta do you or something you are capable of being while standing in a ridiculous yellow striped shirt.  And for me, that is being someone far far away from me, someone I construct each and every time I punch that time card.  And hearing my real name pulls me out of character, makes me uneasy.
As a matter of fact I only want to hear 10 people tops, who aren't family, recite my name, ever.  My customer said to me, hearing one's name is supposedly the top of the list for most people, as far as preferred sounds.  He must have said my name like 20 times before I shot him a say it one more time MF look and then he begins quoting studies.  This was someone's annoying husband so while I'm tuning him out, I study 'the wife'.  She's no help.  She's nodding obviously in agreement and seems so proud that her hubby can quote valid data.  I still have at least an hour and a half with these robots, so I go off deep inside my head:  Quit saying my name MF, I don't know you. I am not who you seeYou will never meet the person on the name tag.
Image result for taxi driver robert de niro looking in mirror gif
As a matter of fact, I propose that retail allows workers to make up a name to use at work like hookers do.  I would love to be Kitty or Sally McNally or a host of other fun characters and actually I always act in character while I'm clocked in and being paid by said company.  That's how I get through working with the public everyday.  That's my coping mechanism.  So when some corporate hack wants to infringe on my rights further, where it's mandatory to introduce myself, my true name, which to me is super personal, I just hate it.  I hate it.  I'm cool with just being called by the company name actually.  I'm there to sell you their product so I don't see how the real me has to come into it at all.  This is where I'm at.  Study THIS shit.  I may be the exception but I wonder just how different this thinking is to others in my position.  Where are our rights?  I am forced to wear a pictured ID tag that states my first and last names but I'm clever to cover it up so that only when completely necessary do I ever have to flip it over for someone to see.  Then we wear yet another bigger badge with our first name written on it in big bold letters that must always be visible.  They pay people to come in and check and dodge you 10 points if it's not.
Thank goodness, having lived and learned among the incredibly savvy San Francisco Tenderloin street hustler boys, I am expert level at avoiding genuine answers to any and all personal questions.
I call this a stir fry but it's actually barely that.  Steamed broccoli, snow peas, tomatoes, mushrooms and ground beef over black rice.

Tuesday, August 6, 2019

Gotta Walk that Road (trip) All the Way to Heaven

Drive in Road Trip
It became fitting that P's car turned over 100,000 miles while on this road trip with a drive-in movie theatre destination to see Once Upon a Time in Hollywood. 
It goes without saying that the movie was 100% incredible.  We loved it and it was special to see it at a retro drive-in complete with 70's prices and pin-ball machines. 
A 4-movie theater only drew 6 cars total due to a huge impending storm that never came. 

I envy P in that he can throw on man shorts and pretty much fit in anywhere with his crazy ass. No one knows the freak that lives inside that normal exterior.

The town was so interesting that I was able to write a short horror story about it.  Like any small towns even though the shops and people are very cool, there can be a sad deadness to it all, if you look.

Bar food - The Cask and Rasher was a great surprise.  Bellying up to the bar, I was picturing a giant grilled burger but instead we opted for Shrimp salads and a side of tater tots.  The shrimp was sweet, delicious and plentiful dressed in the brightest greens.  So good!  
When the cook came back out, I think he was a little shocked to see I chowed that sucker down like his patrons taking in the last swallow of their pint. 

We found an incredibly clean and gorgeous state park with swimming and peddle boating.  And somehow when you drive far enough away from your real life, you are capable of performing these joyous acts that just 24 hours ago seemed impossible.  I turn and look at P and we're in the middle of a beautiful lake peddling a boat.  This is America! 
Later we swam and I did many laps in crystal clear calm water.  This totally made up for the freezing day on Jones Beach the days before. 
They even had a concession stand with coffee and beer, tacos and ice cream.

Later we found a Mexican Restaurant in a house and inside was a giant waiter that seemed to be out of central casting. 
When the breaded jalapeno poppers came I thought, okay this is going to be that kind of Mexican restaurant.  One that does not generally cater to Latinos.  But you must be open to all experiences and no food is bad, just different.

But when the main platters came, it looked like the real comforting combination plates that I crave.

On the way back to the hotel the darkest clouds came over the town.  A storm was to come during our stay and no one thought we'd be able to swim or see the movie but we did all of that and had the best time. 

P's in love....with his car so it was fun to watch him wash it so thoughtfully with care and intent.  I remember when he used to look at me like this. 
On the way back we stopped to get a real quarter pounder with cheese, fries, and strawberry shake.  
Free breakfast at the hotel.  Given the choice of a buffet, it's hard not to just get a bit of everything. 
One last chance to take a dip in a local lake on the way back, but we decided to leave it for the gods.  We had a blast and our fill of water sports.  
I sneer and grumble every time we have to pass that big wall of disgusting Trump Towers coming into Manhattan.  Of all the beautiful old ornate buildings that line the West Side Highway, these stick out like soulless architecture void of anything New York except money.