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Archive for March, 2009

and to think i was doing such a good job:

my dream life has become a repository for anxiety.  i’m always running late for something.  i always stray from my responsibilities.  i always assume everything will be fine when all evidence is to the contrary.  and i’m always out of time.  i wake up tangled in the sheets, convinced that i’m really as screwed as i imagine in my sleep.

last night it was a day trip to somewhere you couldn’t get in a day, some college with buildings all covered with beautiful crystals.  we rearended a taxicab, and then i missed my bus.  i felt like i was drowning in a rush-hour mob, on foot in the street in heavy traffic, separated from everyone i’d been with.  it was urgent that i get home by dinnertime.  i wasn’t going to get home by dinnertime.

yes, today started off that way, but once i woke up it began a sharp improvement.  mostly, i think this is because it was a good food day.  a comfort food day:

for lunch i had macaroni and cheese for grownups– complete with spinach, jalapeños, onions, and plenty of garlic– thanks to natalie, who can do anything with cheese and a saucepan.  on new year’s eve she introduced me to her alfredo sauce.  angels have sighed over cruder stuff.

for dinner, i made a decent chicken and red pepper stir-fry with couscous– mixing my eastern with my middle-eastern– but, to my surprise, the show-stealer was the stir-fried cabbage with hot sauce.  the tang of the tabasco, the salt of the soy sauce, and the mild sweetness of the cabbage were just perfect together, in a completely unexpected way.  i can’t take credit for the recipe, and i’m sad to say that i had to bastardize it a little (sambal oelek not being readily available, i substituted good old-fashioned tabasco)– but it turned out well, and my mother pronounced it her new favorite way to eat cabbage.  (my dad, who’s sensitive to spicy foods, would probably prefer his boiled and buttered… perhaps mom will just have to dress hers with hot sauce at the table.)

tonight, i aim low.  all i want is a better night’s sleep, free of anxiety- and heartbreak- and tabasco-induced-nightmares.

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he drove the snakes from ireland and drank up all the whiskey

he sang a song and danced a jig he felt sae fine and frisky

an after-dinner mug of hot chocolate with kahlua is an adequate substitution for eight irish car bombs, right?  if not, i am a disappointing irish girl.

i did spend all day crocheting a baby blanket for the upcoming addition to our family, and it has some green in it.  and it’s a baby blanket.  i’m sure many an auntie back on the aran islands spent many a st. patrick’s day knitting many a receiving blanket for many a curly-haired, pink-cheeked youth.

my father, bless his heart, was born four days after st. patrick’s day, sixty-seven years ago this week.  he took patrick as his confirmation name.  then he went off to vietnam and promptly abandoned his faith, and came back and married my mother, a second- or third-generation atheist.

and then came their four daughters fair.  and now the next generation needs baby blankets.  happy to oblige.

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aegean epiphany

late last night while perusing orangette, i had a sudden flash of inspiration.

are you prepared?  are you sitting down?  are you sure?

baked figs with tapenade and feta.

you’re welcome.

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there is this scent.  it’s got overtones of warmth and brightness, and undertones of something that makes me think of coconuts and sunflowers,  something that i can really only describe as the smell of sunshine.  you know the feeling you have when you’re lying on the grass on a day that’s just a little too hot, that would be perfect if there were a slight breeze?  the feeling of the sun actually pressing on your skin, bearing weight on you, as if it were the warm body of a lover?  if that feeling had a scent, it would smell like this.

not long ago, when i caught it somewhere, it would just set my heart at ease.  a little smile, inexplicable to anyone watching, would just flutter down and light on my mouth like a butterfly.

it doesn’t anymore.

paul simon says that

losing love is like a window in your heart:

everybody sees you’re blown apart.

everybody feels the wind blow.

lately, it’s been a little drafty in here.

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a life lesson i’ve absorbed over the last week or so: trying too hard doesn’t work.

i watched garden state for the second time ever last night.  the first time it felt all… profound.   it was during a bout of serious depression a little over three years ago.  afterwards, i went out and bought it and haven’t been able to bring myself to watch it since.  until last night.

this time i didn’t think it was all deep and… stuff.  i just thought it was really heavy-handed, and it left me sort of emotionally confused.

so.  quilts.  curly fries at cambridge common.  truly terribly films featuring bill pullman as a fighter pilot president.

and that, as they say, is the way we get by.

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on peaceful afternoons like today, days with sunshine and pink nailpolish and a couple of clouds, but an overall air of simple, inchoate, irrepressible springtime, days when the sky is a shade of blue that just may be the loveliest i’ve ever seen–

–it’s hard to maintain a mood of somber passivity, like the one i’ve been in for the last week.

which is why this song, in its candy-eyed melancholy, has just captured me.

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