Sunday, May 15, 2022

It's Time to Live in the Scattered Sun

Maya Taqueria Delivery - Carne Asada bowl.  I love this idea, a Mexican Rice bowl.  I used to make these at my dad's restaurant when I was a kid wandering the kitchen before they had a name.  It's another great candidate for a lunch box meal but you could fortify it with more vegetables. I will attempt soon and report back!

An Everything taco and two carne asada tacos for mi compadre



Spring happens even when you're not looking
Spring is revitalizing in so many ways but one that always takes me by surprise is how after a good rain, the leaves on the trees seem to fill their branches overnight leaving giant green canapes. Suddenly there is shade on the streets and the air is filled with life again!  Colors everywhere pop up as if they were black and white in the winter.  The difference the visual makes on the psyche is significant.  

Friday, May 13, 2022

What's It All About, Alfie?

How sweet is this? Candy coated strawberries and grapes.

There is a cool cat at work named Reggie, who could be Snoop Dogg's grandmother.  She's over 76, tall and lean, wears bright yellow high tops and has a stride as smooth as Larry David.  In her delightful deep, raspy voice, she offers me a free sample of her daughter's fruit and sugar laced creations.  I love strawberries so this was a welcome treat.
Every emotion that comes out of this woman feels contrived and deceptive but Johnny needs to stop laughing.  I want to slap them both at this point.

That's the way the Johnny Depp Defamation trial feels, like someone just gave me a giant, delicious, red strawberry.  Its unclear why it's so satisfying.  It's escapism with a twist of realism. I have the tiniest of doubt there is an actual abuse story in this heap of random falsehoods.  Testimony from real victims of domestic violence looks much different.  However, Hollywood really needs a special set of rules for evaluating these types of accusations.  The stakes become more complicated when people become commodities.  There could be ulterior motives, much to gain, financially and power oriented plays.  Timing could also be very key for these folks that need to control their image at specific times.  This particular starlet carries all the perfect ingredients for exactly this type of assorted nonsense.   When the very gracious, Believe all Women chant began, many people knew this was coming, the predictable opportunist.  The #MeToo movement was sure to release the Kraken of all scorned women as society is clearly producing more dregs in every sex.    

I've watched more of the trial than I care to admit and it's a drag to hear the grotesque personal relationship banter that was normal for both of them. Johnny's drug abuse at a particular time is extreme but not significant unless this is the time he became violent and broke his normal persona.  I have a smidgen of doubt because there is a difference in a person who's doing coke versus opiates and Amber speaks of this, possibly honestly.  Speedy drugs with high amounts of alcohol might prime you to become violent.  His bodyguards and managers said Johnny had a super high tolerance for alcohol.  I've known a lot of drunks and druggies though I've never known that combination, someone so low key and overly polite that once high would be capable of rape and the most atrocious violence.  In all of my experience, passives prefer heroin, sinking further into numbness.   But its also hard to grasp the woman who would outright lie about something so extremely heinous.  She has no credible evidence despite being a serial photographer and recorder of her relationship.  That is hard to believe.   It's hard to get passed the fact that she never sought treatment for bleeding of the vagina for example, after being raped with a broken bottle, or that someone making money off her looks wouldn't go have a broken nose checked out.  She's described living through real life action scenes from Die Hard movies, yet suffered injuries no one even noticed.  Again, if her accounts are not true, what kind of monster falsely accuses someone of such serious crimes and then claims to still love them?  I watched two hours of a group of body language experts saying this was the only time in decades of experience, that they were unanimous in certainty that Amber's testimonies hold massive deception and lies. 

Life is hard right now, also unclear why it feels that way.  Sure, there is impending doom most areas you look, whether it be violence near you, disease around the corner, weather disasters, drought, war, inflation. Many dark clouds hover over us.  Still, nothing feels normal anymore, even though some days are uneventful.  Time feels different under the surface.  I can't help but notice much of what happens in the physical plane feels senseless, slightly meaningless all of the sudden.  This shit is broken, this way we're living life right now.  

I hear educated, respectable people discussing this now.  Even though it scares the bejesus out of me, I hold a lot of faith we are being forced to shift directions, to experience life from a different angle.  Life truly is only a birdsong, as Johnny said in his Depposition.  It isn't about getting money and better looking houses.  Brazilian butts are not the answer.  Cheek implants are not going to bring us closer to knowing love.  Revenge and self righteousness is hollow.  I believe in my gut the human experience can be incredibly satisfying if we could just be slapped awake.  Not woke, but awake. 

All of this new violence and deceit, contempt, in pretty packages in the guise of being strong, are all part of this sick monster.  I want no part of this.  But philosopher's say we are part of it, no matter how we may want to distance ourselves.  This ugliness is in us too and we must recognize it with as much mercy as we can muster.

In that way, I am only watching minimal parodies of this trial, even though YouTube is flooding my feed with hilarious 'take downs'.  Instead, I'm trying to consider how painful, even if she's outright lying, this must be for Ms. Heard.  There is a hell in there somewhere.  That isn't something I'd wish even on a lying sack.  Then, on the other hand in the oddest case that this bad-acting, no-evidence-producing-lunacy is true, how horrible to live through such intense scrutiny and see the offender protected and loved by the masses.  

Anyway you slice this shit pie, it's a sad mirroring of us, society, the world today, and how we process it through our individual minds does matter.  

What's it all about, Alfie
Is it just for the moment we live
What's it all about when you sort it out, Alfie
Are we meant to take more than we give
Or are we meant to be kind
And if only fools are kind, Alfie
Then I guess it's wise to be cruel
And if life belongs only to the strong, Alfie
What will you lend on an old golden rule
As sure as I believe there's a heaven above, Alfie
I know there's something much more
Something even non-believers can believe in
I believe in love, Alfie
Without true love we just exist, Alfie
Until you find the love you've missed you're nothing, Alfie
When you walk let your heart lead the way 

And you'll find love any day, Alfie, Alfie 

Wednesday, May 11, 2022

I Really Don't Know Life at All

More lunch COVID delivery from Denis Turkish Restaurant
The key to financially managing take out is to find a spot that has a vibrant business lunch crowd.  Their lunch menu specials tend to be lower to drive traffic, they offer larger portions and everything is fresh.  Deniz gives warm bread, and a side, which is enough for two portions. Unfortunately I babaganushed when I meant to tabule.  Like Joni Mitchell, eggplant is an acquired taste.  I trust they are both amazing but I can't yet find myself enjoying either with any amount of sincerity.

Monday, May 9, 2022

Keep Smiling, Keep Shining

A nice recycle of yesterday's leftover take out French Fries, were these Loaded Fries on the griddle. To revive dried up fries, sprinkle them with a little water.  Crisp up the potatoes on a hot griddle, tossing them around before topping with meat and cheese and covering for a few minutes to allow the cheese to melt.  Then the cold garnishes go on, in this case, tomato, cilantro and onion.  This is a five minute glorious appetizer that ate like a meal and obviously the topping combinations are endless.  
P was knee deep in his COVID and I wanted to be there for him but was simultaneously nauseous and achy, so this was an easy but special snack.  The nights before he tested positive, I kept telling him I bet you have COVID.  His boss had been sick and had traveled out of state directly before, and had all the clear signs.  Finally, he allowed me to test his dumb ass.  I had been at work sweating and feeling so fatigued several days before but kept testing negative. I felt my body fighting something and I was sure it felt familiar.  I should have good immunity but I guess that doesn't mean the virus can't still try to invade your system. The last night I worked I was cleaning up the shop whimpering like a toddler, feeling so out of breath after doing small tasks, when I realized I had something on my shoe I'd been dragging around.  
A little heart with the stuffing coming out of it, a hug from the universe.  I had sent my mother a large version of this years ago.  A sweet little reminder, to keep a sense of humor, especially during challenging times.   

Sunday, May 8, 2022

I'll Be There and You'll Be Near, That's the Deal My Dear

Black Forest Brooklyn Burger
When COVID's in the house, there will likely be take out food happening and this time was no exception.  Black Forest burgers came via a delivery app, a mistake if you want your food fast.  We try to avoid using the apps for the restaurant and because it can add too much time before that food hits your stomach, plus the cost.  Too much money goes to the app and the restaurants prefer us to go direct.  It's a crap-shoot though because as the restaurants are operating on less staff, managing more things, they've lost our order or simply forgot us a few times.  This place is literally on the corner, so these are all ridiculous problems.  

There is a man that is homeless who we befriended that likes to stand in front of this particular restaurant.  We call him Liberty.  He grew up in the housing near here and has amazing stories to tell when he gets to feeling talkative.  He's not above asking you for a few bucks after the conversation.  I've tried giving him food, but he's rejected most of my offerings.  He wants money for alcohol.  One time I told him I'd get him anything in the market.  He wanted a sandwich which they don't sell, so I bought him bread, cheese and cold meat to make several sandwiches.  He got upset and said, what the hell am I gonna do with this!?  That's the day I stopped looking at him like a homeless guy and more a personal character in the neighborhood to get to know.  I often thought, back when we were sick as dogs in 2020, if we just knew his number, because yes, he does carry a cell phone, he could bring the food and we'd give him the money and it would arrive hot and fast.  This could be a direct community outreach solve but I'm pretty sure he's not interested in working anymore, and just needs money to get drunk, which would make him unreliable for any real commitment.    

Saturday, May 7, 2022

Why Can't We, If We Wanna, Yes we Can Can

An unnamed household member has COVID, once again
Lettuce Burgers and homemade fries
Our neighbors who obviously possess better etiquette skills, brought us a chocolate pie from the good bakery and a just the appropriate sized bundle of very sweet smelling flowers.  This was a gift for gathering their mail.  That pie.  I still think of that pie.  
Take Out from National Thai in Fort Greene
Tom Ka Gai - Such a healing mellow soup with lemongrass and coconut. Its usually amazing. They phoned this one in. 

I had the wherewithal to make homemade Shoestring fries to go with this quick lettuce turkey cheddar burger.  Do you ever wake up with wherewithal?  It's like the creativity muse but for your body.  Where as yesterday you wouldn't get out of your own way yet on these days you're on walks, doing chores, cooking and actually enjoying yourself while doing these things.  Somehow you can.  Yesterday you couldn't.  Where can you buy extra wherewithal, I wonder.   
As this unnamed household member became more and more ill, my wherewithal faded down to zero.  I had that thing when you're husband gets fat when you get pregnant. I had Sympathetic COVID... for days, but never tested positive.  Some folks in the house think I'm nuts but I wasn't acting, I felt horrible.  

Thursday, May 5, 2022

Oye Como Va

Cinco de Mayo Shredded Chicken Lettuce Tacos
Cinco de Mayo is a very under celebrated event in New York, which is not so strange because even though there are so many immigrants from Puebla here, (although I hear many have left) where the 1862 battle took place, and the holiday is a celebration of that won battle with France, in the states its a pretty ambiguous holiday.  A ragtag team of 2000, poorly armed Mexicans, lead by a Texas born general fought 6000 French troops and won!  Now, like St Patrick's day, it's just another excuse to drink and eat tacos.  They say it's turned into a celebration of Mexican culture but I've seen no evidence of that.  I think it should be turned into an appreciation day for the US Mexican labor force that has kept the city going in these tough times.  I can't say enough about the work ethic and dedication these folks have to their cause, which is usually to unselfishly support their families in Mexico, who would die without their ongoing contributions.  Sacrificing their own livelihoods here and now by living in close quarters, working ungodly hours with horrid commutes but somehow remaining good people.  Doing the jobs no know wants to do for much less money and no benefits so they can send $100 a week to a sister or mother.  We could really learn something from thinking like a hungry immigrant.    

I rushed home from work and whipped up these light but satisfying shredded chicken lettuce tacos and then packed a couple for lunch boxes. 



Monday, May 2, 2022

Two Tickets to Paradise

Corn & Ham Pasta Salad
Quirky combinations are born when you cook with what you have on hand, like these two quick meals.  Starting with this pasta salad featuring fresh corn, chunks of ham, tomatoes, cucumber, kalamata olives, tiny shells, green apple, herbs and bleu cheese. Each bite bursts with all of the freshness of the individual ingredients, so just a squeeze of lemon, olive oil and salt and pepper is needed.  The success of this salad is getting each item the same size, and that is small.  So small that you may want to eat it with a spoon.  People say this too often, but this truly does taste like a party in your mouth.
Chili Mac and Cheese - using leftover queso!
I thought to make a quick pot of turkey chili with beans but with the addition of my leftover queso transformed this into a delightful Chili Cheese Mac! Less fatty than mac and cheese, creamier than regular chili.  Both proved to be great for adult lunch box meals.

Sunday, May 1, 2022

'Cause I'm in Love with My Future

Queso
I strive for the ultimate Chili Con Queso now that I've opened up to the world of liquid cheese.  This effort was closer.  The recipes are quite diverse, some using a roux, others going straight for the cheese melt and wine or beer, more a fondue.  Some add milk, others corn starch.  I don't think you have to pick, in fact there may be the right texture for every purpose.  As a dip, this smoother, creamier queso worked well for chips, whereas if you wanted to drizzle it over a plate of chips, like for loaded nachos or fries, it could be thicker.  In restaurants I've had queso fundito and that was served in a flaming hot cast iron dish like fajitas.  That is mainly cheese and you must eat it quickly before it hardens.  I'm big on additions of garlic, onion, hot sauce, jalapenos and garnishes.  One could probably cut to the chase and use Velveeta but I haven't bought that product in adulthood and enjoy the challenge of creating from scratch. My mother used Velveeta at the restaurant for queso but the ingredient list has changed quite a bit from those days of 1970's.  
Making magical queso may require more dipper options in order to fully embrace cheese as the main component.  In other words, I think this can become dinner!  I imagine a tray of tiny turkey meatballs and roasted cherry tomatoes, zucchini rounds, mushrooms....beneficial foods to eat more of.  In fact, it sounds like a wonderful future plan.
Lunch box Mustard chicken for work 
Blooming Red Buds