~~ "She has so many aliases, you'd think she was a spy!" ~~

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Spaghetti is not Gaelic, and other stories


I have spent most of today cooking, which is insane, both because I don’t enjoy cooking (blasting Duran Duran’s All You Need Is Now, among other albums, helped) and because Ken’s in charge of cooking now. (He’s not working, therefore, he’s in charge of the house.) But I told him I’d chop veggies if he went to Costco, and I chopped veggies for three things:
  1. a big pot of veggie soup, which I made. It’s quite good; we had it for lunch with the last of the bread from Erick Schat’s Bakker├┐, omnom.
  2. an enormous vat of spaghetti* sauce in the crock pot. Later, Ken will brown the ground beef and onion, and we’ll add it to half the sauce, and then we’ll freeze all of it in smaller containers, except the non-meat sauce that we want to keep out for calzones later this week
  3. Thai stir-fry, which Ken’s making for dinner tonight.

Now it’s 4:30 and I need to start getting some actual work done. (No, I didn’t cook until now; I also had a leisurely lunch with Ken and played some Spider Solitaire and read some blogs and made tea.)

Copyediting and a much-overdue short story, here I come….

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* For all I love pasta with a passion that cannot die, I’m incapable of spelling spaghetti correctly on the first try. Why must it have that “h” in there? It’s not freaking Gaelic!

A rambling post I'll no doubt regret in the morning


This year has been a mass/mess of traveling, but since our brief jaunt to Tahoe last week, I’ve been home home home (okay, except for an SCA event, but that was a day trip). I don’t know how to express how good this feels. Tonight, listening to the rain, I think I’m gradually starting to feel like myself again.

Maybe. I hope.

I have no official trips (other than day things) scheduled until late December, except maybe Thanksgiving with my sister and her family in Monterey (which reminds me, crap, she left me a message about that on Tuesday and I still haven’t called her back). This makes me want to weep with relief. By Thanksgiving I’ll probably be excited about venturing forth, but right now? I get to stay home? I get to find some semblance of routine with working out and writing and errands and slowly dragging the house back towards cleanliness? Really? Can I, huh, huh, can I really?

I’m exhausted. Mentally, emotionally. Physically, I’m not entirely up to speed with working out, but I’m doing okay. (Okay, barely.) But the rest of it? Hitting rock bottom means the only way out is up, right? I’m really going to get my brain back, right? Creativity and enthusiasm are just around the corner…right?

In December, Ken is flying east to help my mom drive to South Carolina for the winter. Because he’s that awesome, because he knows what would be best for me is to have that time at home, to not have to plan another frakking trip where I have to be in charge of things. I hope by then I can make productive use of that time, that I won’t sit around watching reruns of Law & Order and wishing I could find the energy, the enthusiasm, the whatever’s missing to get up and walk into my office and work.

I woke up this morning and thought, If I were really my own boss, I would’ve fired my ass weeks ago.

I hope, over the next few weeks, that I’ll be able to settle into a lenient schedule, one that shoehorns in appointments and workouts and whatnot, where we use all the nummy fresh food we’ve acquired to make healthy meals (on deck: vegetable soup, Thai peanut tofu and veggie stir-fry, a vat of spagetti sauce [most to freeze], calzones, some sort of Indian stuff Ken bought). That I’ll have the energy to help with housework so the house is somewhere I actually want to be. That I’ll have time to read all the groovy books that have piled up, which I really am excited about reading, somewhere, beneath the exhaustedness.

For now, though, I’m going to take a moment to listen to Eostre snoring and the rain outside, and go upstairs and read for a bit and cuddle with an already sleeping Ken and be happy that I’m going to sleep as late as I damn well want in the morning.

I hope.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Oh oh oh oh, sweet wine o'mine


I don’t know when my love affair with Chardonnay started, when she first whispered her enticing siren song in my ear. Possibly in college, although my main drink of choice in college was vodka and lemon-lime Crystal Light, followed by the cheap beer at beer blasts (fundraisers for frats in downtown bars) because, well, it was cheap. Sure, there were a few nights of Bacardi 151 with wine cooler chasers, but that was more opportunity than an assignation. And during my semester in Britain I had a delicious fling with Snakebites (lager and cider)…sometimes in the deepest darkest night, I crave you, dear Snakebites.

Chardonnay, though, she’s been my lover for many, many years. Crisp, dry, and seductively cheap in a box. In fact, I’ve said for as long as I can remember that red wine gives me migraines—unless it’s the house red served in a carafe in restaurants in Italy. Lately, though, I’ve been reading about the benefits of red, and I started to research. In a posh wine shop in Ojai, I asked the experts why red wine would do that, and how to prevent it.

Sulfites, they said with conviction, and sold me a bottle of organic no-sulfites-added red from a local winery housed at an estate designed by Greene and Greene. Well, shit, how could I not fall in love with that? I mean, it thematically goes with my house.

Two reasons, alas: One, it was a mix of two things (Merlot and…crap, something else), which was nice but not to my taste; and two, from research online, I’m given to understand that whites have more sulfites than reds.  O.o  On the plus side, though, I polished the bottle off over two nights and had nary a headache in sight.

So, fine, fuck it. I girded my loins, took a deep breath, and hauled home a box of Cabernet Sauvignon.

Dudes…I like it. And even better? No migraines. And even better than that? Because it’s richer/heavier/whatever pretentious wine description word fits here, I drink less of it. I savor it, sip it, nurse it. I don’t love it as much as I love my dark muse Chardonnay, but I’m happy with it.

Here’s the weirdest thing, though: I feel more grown-up drinking it.

What the hell does that mean?