...a way of seeing beyond inner and outer.

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Free basking..

Note: If you're visiting from ICLW for the first time and only want to read one post
here at cookedheads
or haven't read what I think about you amazing people, 
because of course  what I think 
then please read this post.
If none of this applies...       

Close your eyes and feel your piggly toes have wiggly throes in the sand, the guilty pleasure of oily legs stretched out in the sun, something iced, a little up and away (youtube alert) floating through the air.  Sounds lovely doesn't it?   The last few icy fingers of February are scratching on my psyche and since I'm not in charge of the weather, I decided to create a little summer in a bottle.  A few months from now, the toes will be painted Arm Candy, the oil will be scented with jasmine and the something iced will be lemoncello.  For the moment, I'll make due with fuzzy pink slippers, gardenia lotion to stave off the ash and a pretty, if  presently purposeless bottle.
Lemoncello: Like life, a work in progress.

Friday, February 25, 2011


Note: If you're visiting from ICLW for the first time and only want to read one post
here at cookedheads
or haven't read what I think about you amazing people, 
because of course  what I think 
then please read this post.       
If none of this applies, then just hush and "be" for a bit.
Alila Villas
Uluwatu, Bali

Thursday, February 24, 2011

"Don't make any major decisions"

     This is advice my husband gave me years ago when, in the middle of a midweek meltdown, I decided everything in my life needed to be revamped, overhauled, discarded, burnt down, "agent orange"d, turned into a nuclear wasteland, etc. you know, so I could rebuild.
      There was a time in my life when I regularly acted on those ultimately self-destructive instincts and the end result was almost never good. In fact, in golf parlance, I often waned a mulligan.  Sadly, nothing works that way and damage is done.
     What I have learned is that there are times one should not make major decisions. Here are a few examples of inadvisable life planning moments, and feel free to help me add more.  I'd like to avoid denuding my life and will accept any and all help in this regard.
  • During a fire or any sort of natural disaster
  • In the middle of childbirth, natural or otherwise.   
  • Right after you open an IRS  audit letter
  • When you find out your child has had their tongue pierced.
  • When your wife's best friend decides to give you a lap dance
  • After two martinis and after one, it's still not an ideal time.
  • If you suspect mother nature is adjusting your hormone levels.
There is a solid argument to be made for the menses hut aka the "moon lodge"  Who wouldn't want a week alone with the girls where men weren't allowed and you didn't have to cook?  I think I'm going to build a moon lodge out back. I'd be shocked if my husband objected.
Any of these would work.

Either that or I'm getting this for my tragically perfect and 
extraordinarily long-suffering husband
From the NYTimes

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Sunday Dinners for another 100 years.

Note: If you're visiting from ICLW for the first time and only want to read one post
here at cookedheads
or haven't read what I think about you amazing people, 
because of course  what I think 
then please read this post.       
     Occasionally, I've talked in bits and pieces about the weird West Coast extension of my family, my wife-in-law and my bonus children (I won't use the "step" word) , but a family dinner this weekend, I decided to expound a bit.  This will sound wrong and may get me in trouble, but what the hell.   
     I met my husband playing chess.  Online.  While we were both married.   To other people.  And I lied about almost everything about myself.  Not because I was trying to be someone else, but because at the time I was convinced that the only people online were serial killers. I was the exception, of course.
     So now that you know we're bad people, let me explain.  Being in the middle of an ugly (and there are other kinds of.) divorce I was seriously done with anything having a Y chromosome and Love-of-my-life was "happily married".  For three years we played chess daily and he never knew my name.  In all that time, not once, at all, did we ever come close to having a discussion that even remotely involved sex.
   That may not seem unusual except that early on in my forays into the digital world I was genuinely shocked to find out a woman cannot talk to a man for long before the subject inevitably turns to sex. How that happens on a site devoted to playing chess I have yet to understand.  Can there BE anything less sexual than chess? Actually, come to think of it, some of those pieces are a little provocative, but I'm a southern girl and you don't talk about sex with someone unless you're thinking about having sex with someone and you don't have sex with someone unless you're quite sure you might want to have children with them, and I say this loving sex a whole lot, but what can I say, I'm that woman.  Love-of-my-life and I are married because he is that man.
   Fast forward three years, unbeknownst to me, his wife wants to not be his wife, or more to the point, she wants to be happy and was honest enough with herself and him to say, 
     "This ain't workin' for me. It's not working for you either, but neither one of us wants to say uncle. This is me saying 'Uncle.'"
     It was years before I knew the actual details, but at the time, what I did know is that he offered to help me find a job at a time when I desperately needed one and a few months later,  we met.  Me, the permanently celibate lesbian, still thinking, 
     "He's happily married and if that wasn't enough, he has a Y chromosome. I'd hate him if I didn't like him.  Mmmm.. safety."
     Meanwhile, he's thinking thinking.
     "Mmmmmm tasty."
     I didn't get the job, but six years ago today,  I did get the man and his family and I am deeply in love with them all. Last Sunday night, sitting around our dinner table with Love-of-my-life, his ex-wife, her husband, my two bonus children, one girlfriend, a few strays and my bad dog,  I realized the only thing wrong about the situation was that the daughter I gave birth to was in Seattle.  This is the other kind of divorce, the kind where you remain friends, and sit down to dinner on Sundays with good food, good wine, good people,good love and yes, a little weirdness, but only when we think about it. We try not to think about it.
 *a 100 more just like this one...

Monday, February 21, 2011

Outside the womb

A few weeks ago, I found myself linked, by accidental choice, if there can be such a thing, to a large online community with whom I have nothing in common, at least on the surface.  Against their will, they've formed a not exclusive enough club made up of women who are trying to complete a process most of us take for granted and even work hard to avoid. They're trying to have children. When I  realized I was an outsider looking in on their often pervading grief,  I felt like perhaps I was trespassing, but I'd committed myself to participating and felt I should honor my pledge. Plus, these women are hilarious and twisted.  How can you not love that?

My life is sheltered by circumstance and I'm not one to tiptoe into trauma much less jump into it.  I'm unusual in that, and yes, that's sarcasm but I'm beginning to think there is a  reason to experience other people's grief, to seek it out even.  It's not as if you can "fix it". It's not as if your suffering will make theirs any less, but there is a sense that we have an obligation to each other to absorb the pain we see in others and give back the truth that pain does not define us regardless of how deep the abyss of the experience is.   

These next few days, I'm back, not belonging but not caring that I don't belong or that I know so little about what their particular hell is like.  I came back because I want to give them what they want most.  Sadly, I was not given omnipotence and am currently in the complaint queue to rectify this because I think I'd be an awesome superhero who would almost never use my powers for evil (not often, at any rate..and evil is subjective, right? ), but while I wait for this gross universal error to be corrected, I'm trying to think of other things to give these women.

I would like to give every one of them freedom from the betrayal they see in their own bodies and the choices they think they made that caused "this", from the constant clock watching that robs them of how beautiful the experience of life in general is and how beautiful they all are specifically. I would like to give them a picture of themselves from the outside, where the observers see formidable will,  relentless determination, phenomenal resilience and as I have said before, a strength that stuns me.   And I would like to give them all babies.  Many many babies, because when these women become mothers, and I do believe all of them will, even if it's not the way they long to be, they will teach the right lessons, will love wholly with abandon and will constantly mirror to their children the perfection that they have come to see in themselves.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

How to scare your husband.

listen to this:

allow yourself to weep with the beauty of it all
you're pretty much done

Thursday, February 17, 2011

The poa annua po po

   For those of you who do not have a husband with a golf affliction, poa annua is an obnoxious weed, a bluegrass, so named for its "having dense tufts of bluish-green blades" in addition to its having "creeping rhizomes", ergo, obnoxious and weed as modifiers.  For those of you whose husbands do, go ask them about it and they'll either wax poetic or rail against its many evils,  depending on the state of their short game, but for those of you who have that husband, my suspicion is that you already know what it is.
   A block from my house, it also has its own security.  At the bottom of the hill on the street where I live, is a park where I sometimes throw the ball for my dog.  Not often, because as I've said before, she's got ADD and there have been times when my husband, taking it upon himself and his soft heart to throw the ball for her, has had to call me to come down to the park to get her back on the leash.  But yesterday, it was raining when he normally walks her so the only walk she was going to get was the one I would take with her, shorter, slower and not nearly enough to wear out ADD dog. (ADDD).    I wanted to let her run herself down a bit.  Bad idea.  The grass police were out in force.  As I am in the process of getting her back on the leash and it truly is a process, I hear,
     "Excuse me ma'am"  
      So already I'm trying to decide whether or not to be annoyed.  Ma'am? Ma'am??
     "Did you see the keep off the grass signs."
     I had, but a part of the park is a soccer field and that's where the signs were.  It's at this point, I chose to break out the Southern charm rather than point out that one sign on a soccer field does not a good barrier make, especially since every time they've ever seeded the field before, they've put a fence all the way around it AND one dog vs a soccer team? I think not....
     A long conversation ensued where my formerly ADDD who had just torn up the field.  (rolling my eyes ) sat quietly by my side and behaved.   I'll give her this, she too knows when to charm up.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Water works

...on a lot of levels. It's Wednesday. For those of us who look forward to weekends, we're in the home stretch and I thought we could all use a little liquid beauty, but, in case I'm talking out of turn, and you don't like weekends, or don't care overly much about water,  I could use some liquid beauty.
Note: I grabbed these years ago, long before I was blogging and therefore 
I have no idea
who was lucky enough to stand and take them.  
If it was you, I apologize for not giving you your just due
and thank you for very much pleasure.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

A life minus the airbrush.

     Several months ago, born out of my frustration with and pining for all the blog beauty that I could not was too occupied with other things to make happen,  I did a post about my almost magazine house.  Nothing has changed and I'm evidently not alone. This may be rationalization, but I think this speaks to a life well lived without the help of "staff".
     There exists a life made for magazines, blogging, film, pretend, and there exists the real thing, which trends towards chaos but requires no staging.   Staging is one reason this will never be a food blog.   It's too damn much work. Not just work to get the photo right, but to cook the damn food.   I love to eat more than most things, but I don't love it enough to spend hours in the kitchen, only to have to spend hours more cleaning up the kitchen, and yes, I have a husband who is near deity status for his efforts in this regard, but for what? A couple hours of eating? And that's only if you're French. If you're American, assuming you divide your "eating time" into three meals, you spend 30 minutes on dinner. The French on average spend twice as long.
so yes.  The time I would spend making food to show is time I'd almost always rather spend doing almost anything else.  There are already enough people who have been given this gift and I don't need to suffer. Woefully, I occasionally forget this.
   I made the mistake of thinking I'd do one of those pretty food posts and decided to make some carciofi fritti. Doesn't that sound nice?  It's Italian for fried artichokes.  Very Neapolitan.  Very much a pain in the butt for no good reason, at least in practice.   I don't know where the Romans got their baby artichokes, but it wasn't at a high end grocery store.  The baby artichokes hunted and gathered from there do not get cooked when you gingerly coat them in egg wash, flour and panko bread crumbs.  They stay very solid and inedible, 
Palline fritte di corda
Aren't they beautiful? 
A rope by any other name....

Monday, February 14, 2011

The insidious appeal of "almost bad"

      When I was a morose pre-teen, my mother, weary of my many darkly colorful moods, said,
     "It can be fun to be sad, but there are better ways of having fun."
     I thought she was crazy and clueless. I was miserable with good reason, damnit!   There was injustice! and mean people! and a lack of cool clothes! That I do not remember what had me so up-ended in the moments preceding her sage one liner tells me whatever it was , it wasn't that big of a deal.
    Drama as in "drama-queen"  is "almost bad".  It's the craptacular stuff that happens to you that isn't really all that bad, but you act like it is, and even think you believe it is because on some level you just like the sound of the whining pitch, the long suffering sweep of your wrist to your forehead,  the notion of a fainting couch and the corsets that necessitated them.  Basically, you think bitching can be funny or clever if done correctly.  I get that.  I even do that, but I also think there are better ways of looking at the bitch worthy moments.

  • This morning, my car wouldn't start.  again.  ( I have two other cars available to me and a husband who's taking care of the first...poor me. )
  • I almost got T-Bone by an arse-opening who ran a red light. I could hardly wait to tell someone. ( I did not get t-boned, just t-d off and scared, but I feel better knowing that you know..... poor me.)
  • I forgot my cellphone and had to come all the way back to the house to get it. ( I have a job that allows me to work from anywhere... as in on the beach, from the Eiffel tower, while skiing, not that I ski, but I could, provided I have my cellphone with me.  poor me. )
  • someone I know, love and live with insists on bulk shopping at the gigunda megalo mart of excessive and large everything-ness. It's insane. There are only two of us and a dog. What keeps this from being passive aggressive is that I told said person it was insane and to stop it.  Said person went to megalo mart anyway. GAH!  ( megalo mart carries very respectable champagne, which said person brought home for me the last time he was there... with flowers.  and smoked salmon......  poor me.)

"This day was almost horrible!! "
*said while falling dramatically onto fainting couch as bosoms heave over the whale bone stays
"Someone bring me some champange...."

There are always
better way of having fun.    
better. fun.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Blogging to live or living to blog

This is a weekend recap,  but even as I do it, I wonder why I would or if I should bother.. There's an element of weirdness, and a tendency towards either shame or towards gloating  in "How I spent my Summer Vacation" even when you're doing it in third grade but these are the gifts I was given so there can be no conceit on my part, just humble gratitude for all the way my weekend was lovely.
Besides, I'm doing a recap, for a couple of less lofty reasons.  Foremost is my tendency to do things so I can blog about them later, versus being actually engaged in my life.
Bad.  Very very bad or at least highly undesirable and veering precariously off the path of all the really good stuff.. you know.. the kind of life that puts the B in Being.
     This weekend, I decided not to blog because quite frankly, I'm a little over it all at the moment. "It" being all the over sharing we do in text rather than genuine communing with each other, so, late Saturday night when my husband turned to me to ask if I wanted to catch the last set of a gig a friend of ours had at a local Mexican restaurant, I agreed, even though it's not the type of music that appeals to my natural inclinations and we'd already eaten.  To be polite, he had a few beers, and I had a good sipping tequila while we listened to a group of really talented and really under paid musicians.  As a side note, I didn't realize until recently that's it's a little thoughtless to linger at a table for hours after you've finished eating dinner even if you plan on tipping well because you're depriving the server of their next customer and let's face it, no matter how well you tip, you're not going to tip enough to make up for an entire other customer...(things my husband knows and tells)
     Sunday was the LA Times, a hike in the chapparal with my hyperactive/ADD dog who loves being off leash,  an objective study in frustration from 17 mile drive,  the rare "cheap" good red, and dinner from my new favorite toy. (fyi... it's a pressure cooker and I am in love....)
Optimum Treehouse Real Estate

Pebble Beach Open Sunday Dinner

Steamed Artichoke 
(have I said love the kitchen toy)
Love Dip
(recipe to follow at some point, but this is not a food blog, 
I repeat, this is not a food blog
Suffice it to say, this is a tongue in cheek title 
there are copious amounts of garlic involved. )

Cabbage and Beet Slaw 
Buttermilk Mint Dressing
Goat's Milk Farmers Cheese

Pot Roast with Horseradish Sauce (love.the.toy.)
Smashed Potatoes with Truffle oil and Crème Fraiche
First Spring Peas, tossed with Sauté Mushroom 
Browned Pearl Onions

A lot of 
but I don't do them, so I don't mind  
(and if I am a woman to be envied, it is because I married very well)

Friday, February 11, 2011

Happiness is not a rant, damnit

     ...not a rant, I say.
     Sometimes the temptation to rant is mighty, but it does not make me feel any better. Ever. If anything,  the shrill pitch of anger let loose just turns the soil around the hostile brain brambles so they can grow deeper and darker.  This morning I swear I was (am) this close to spewing vitriol and had (have) convinced myself that if I cloak my anger in humor and sweet words of tolerance then I'm not really ranting, I'm.... expressing my feeeeeeeeelings and it's healthy! yes! emotionally healthy!
     The undecorated truth that is barely concealed behind those expressions of frustration and annoyance is something horrifically violent.  If you don't believe me, the next time someone cuts you off in traffic or pulls a full grocery cart up to the express lane, allow your mind to go to the very extreme of what you're feeling and there will be blood, unless, unbeknownst to me, I am a serial killer and/or you have attained enlightenment, in which case you wouldn't experience annoyance or frustration in which case, I want you to come teach me everything you know.  Convince me you have and I'll give you my address.
    I don't believe I am the former and I know I'm not the latter, but I do believe that psychic violence is only marginally better than the physical kind, in fact I believe the difference is only semantic. That's not to say pretense is an option. If these feelings exist, and at the moment, they so very much do exist, then they are there for a reason and are more than a mental delivery system to facilitate a pretend meat clever to someone's real head.  Ironically,  I often find what they give me is a view of myself as scared or deprived in some way but an examination of the "gift" makes the violence disperse in a real way, leaving behind, grace, peace, and the sense that the Universe has conspired with the sweetness of my momentarily mismanaged soul.
An image search for the book "Happiness is a warm puppy." 
lead me to Jill Freedman's work entitled "Happiness is"
Jill Freedman, Happiness Is, gelatin silver print, 1968
Happiness is..~~Jill Fredman 1968

Which lead me to this image
Jill Freedman, Happiness Is, gelatin silver print, 1968
Hands like a shawl~~Jill Freedman 1968

and to the remembrance of what I want my soul to look like.
One thing I know...
...is that there is nothing like this to be found anywhere in a rant.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

"Don't never do this"

This is something my husband often says to me while he's doing something he does not want me to repeat, like make an illegal u-turn or skip my annual dental check-up or run with scissors.  He's a bit older than I am and thus feels as if it's his job to keep me from killing myself or getting gingivitis.
In this post, as I prepare to basically copy and paste a large chunk of the NY Times, I mean the above expression of warning in the sense that I'm going to do something I normally avoid in my own blogs but don't so much mind in other people's because I feel like they're doing me a service by showing me something I might not have otherwise seen.  Like this, and for the digitally slothful,  the U.S. military has the ability to inflict internet on countries whose dictators/leaders have refused to allow their people to have access to the www.
So yes, plagiarism. From the New York Times, I give you Liu Ming, a teacher of Chinese traditional medicine
and feng shui, in his pod of happiness.  I want a pod of happiness.

“In feng shui, we talk about the harmony in the place that you live in,” Mr. Liu says. “The cube evolved out of wanting cozy with the option of keeping a big, open space at the same time. And we added wheels for feng shui purposes. Now that it is portable, I can spin it on an axis, I can point my head and point my desk in different compass directions for different projects. If I am writing something and feel blocked, I can get up and move the room.”
Now he’s got the writer’s attention. Does it help?
“Yeah, it does,” Mr. Liu says. “And it’s playful.” 

Do not underestimate the importance of playful when talking to Mr. Liu, who is not of the deadly earnest school of Eastern teacher.
Can you really make a living by teaching Chinese medicine and feng shui? he is asked.
“Yeah,” he says, “Of course, you have to live in Berkeley.”

Gotta love California...

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

On singing waiters and self-awareness.

The heinousness of the all things rhinovirus has passed, leaving in its wake nothing more than extra cold medicine and an occasional lapse into uncontrollable sneezing, which I can deal with easily.  Have tissues and sanitizing hand cleaner.  Will travel.
Except I'm not.
A secondary  infection has taken root,
in my psyche.

small self: *not happiness
The All: "It's a beautiful day. Go take a walk."
small self: "I hate you. I hate the waiter from last night.
 (he started singing to me. 
It completely weirded me out
 and I've yet to recover fully
 from the trauma
 of a strange man singing,
 "I want you." to me.  
I'm too old to have to put up with this sort of crap...
Then again,
 it could have just been some bad mussels.)
 I hate mussels. I hate me. I hate Wednesdays. I hate cold. I hate the sunshine."
The All: "Fair enough.  How's that working for you?"
     My small self went for a walk, but only so it could tell The All about the many ways it wasn't working for me, after which, it started working again.
     This leads me to believe faith isn't so much about the mindless belief in the unbelievable as it is a pact between your small self and the All. I couldn't disagree more with Nietzsche when he said, "Faith means not wanting to know what's true." I couldn't agree more with Khalil Gibran when he said, "Faith is a knowledge within the heart, beyond the reach of proof."      
Self Knowledge XVII
And a man said, "Speak to us of Self-Knowledge." 
And he answered, saying: 
Your hearts know in silence the secrets of the days and the nights. 
But your ears thirst for the sound of your heart's knowledge. 
You would know in words that which you have always know in thought. 
You would touch with your fingers the naked body of your dreams. 
And it is well you should. 
The hidden well-spring of your soul must needs rise and run murmuring to the sea; 
And the treasure of your infinite depths would be revealed to your eyes. 
But let there be no scales to weigh your unknown treasure; 
And seek not the depths of your knowledge with staff or sounding line. 
For self is a sea boundless and measureless. 
Say not, "I have found the truth," but rather, "I have found a truth." 
Say not, "I have found the path of the soul." Say rather, "I have met the soul walking upon my path."
For the soul walks upon all paths. 
The soul walks not upon a line, neither does it grow like a reed. 
The soul unfolds itself, like a lotus of countless petals. ~~Khalil Gibran

Monday, February 7, 2011

i lied.

this cold is kicking my ass.   soon, very soon will be the last post here, then i'm on to greatness.  I'd laugh at this point but my throat hurts.. until the greatness kicks in, i'm on to a hot bath and my clean sheets.   i love you all.  you're beyond most of what you can conceive... this i promise.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Help, Gumbo and Betweenity

pre-post:  well...ok.  one correction.  ;)
If you followed me, you could puzzle out what it was, but it wouldn't be enough to get me to follow, and I am grinning as much as I hope you are.

There is a piece of me that does not want to post this, but the blog that started all this, whatever "this" turns out to be, was a promise to the Best to be truthful about what It Created me to Be, so i give truth, now, as much and as often as i remember how.  I am to the point in my life where I need help in the sense that the woefully disparaging expression "it's hard to find good help" should have been meant. I hope it was meant that way.  I completely mean it that way.
The bag of stories that make up "my life" have become so much that I have had to find someone to do the things I want to but cannot do and still do the things I  must do:
Keep my home the way it should be kept.

The part of me that doesn't want to post this says,
"That's not true. You could stop doing this. You could get up earlier. You could stop reading. Dancing is not exercise."
Ah... that I recognize and it's always the same thing.
It's the voice that judges. 
The voice that judges is merciless, 
but it is not me.
 and I do not believe it because it,
It is another lie.  
Lying is so little fun and the wild ride of truth is beyond anything I could have imaged it To Be..

Tomorrow is the last post of/from blogspot and I'm only doing that one last final  tango because it's my birthday and there are some people I want to thank.

After that.....come here.

Today... I give 
....to share, to freeze, to give away to/for 20 starving people or 40 people who want to eat.
The good news is that this recipe can be reduced if you have basic math skills.

 Most of all, for my mother, because the thanking starts there and because she deserves a beach of her very own:
  • 4 T oil that collects on the top of the roux or rendered bacon fat
  • 5 c. chopped celery
  • 4 c. chopped green pepper
  • 4 c. chopped yellow onion
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 3 T. chopped garlic
  • 1/2 t. ground allspice

Place the fat in a very large dutch oven until it's almost smoking then add  all other ingredients.  You want some color on this so depending on your stove and pan, allow it to sit until the vegetables on the very bottom being to caramelize a bit.  Continue to cook until the vegetables are sweated and the bottom of the pan has begun is begging you to deglaze it.  
  • 8 c. chicken stock
Deglaze the pan until all the browned bits that were previously stuck to the bottom have now loosened into a rich broth.
  • 2 cups diced tomatoes ( and don't tell anyone I told you to do this... it borders on heresy)
Allow the mixture to simmer on low while you do the following in a heavy skillet.

  • 3 strips of thick cut slab bacon ( find an honest to God butcher ) or 1/3 lb. regular bacon diced.
  • 2 1/2 lbs. boneless chicken thighs
cook the bacon until the fat is rendered and take out the solids. Set aside.   Cut the chicken thighs into comfortable mouthsized pieces and cook in the bacon fat until they're browned.  Set aside.  in the same skillet brown and set aside:

  • 3lbs Polish beef kielbasa
 Add the meats to the vegetables and add:
  • 8 cups of chicken stock
  • 8 cups of water
  • 1 cup of roux
Allow to simmer for three hours on the lowest temperature that will produce a simmer. Stoves differ so that's as specific as I can get.   Add more water if you need to to create a broth that's about "stew" consistency then add:

  • 2 20ounce bags of frozen okra
Return the soup to a boil and add

  • 3lbs shrimp ( tailed and deveined and yes it is a royal pain the arse )
  • 1 lb. scallops (optional and not entirely traditional but we like the occasional surprise of sweetness
Continue to cook on low and while the shrimp and scallops become opaque, in the skillet you used to cook the chicken and sausage slowly cook

  • 1 lb good lump crab meat
To serve, top the gumbo, with a scoop of the cooked crab meat, chopped green onions and put some Tabasco on the table.  That's all it needs, but steamed white rice and crusty French bread have their place too... you'll have to use them the way you see fit..

no proofreading because it's all okay, even the ink splots, the typos, the guesswork and the stretch marks....  je t'aime toujour, Maman.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

What's gnu with you?

if you're geeky or intuitive in the least,
if you like to make pretty but don't like mess
if you have glue gun scars you'd rather forget,
if you're cheap and in favor of free, open, shared
get gimp.
if you get it and you need help
ask me.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Tools of Ignorance Pt. 2.

Everything in the original post did happen.  I don't like that it happened and it wouldn't happen if I could go back and change that it DID in fact happen.
And yet...

This is also true:
I sat at a table with friends who love me enough to risk getting sick in order to be in my company.  There was candlelight to go with the music, laughter to go with the lamb tangine, lessons in joy to go with the lessons in limitations.  The wine that got me in so much trouble was so very very good and a gift from my husband because he knew, if only for a few minutes, it would make me feel better, and I did not feel good at all, all day, until I had that glass of wine, after which, I felt amazing because I am amazing.

This isn't arrogance, it's truth and it's a shared truth.

The real tool of ignorance, or at least one of them, is longing.  Longing for something that does not exist because it blinds you to what does exist.  Longing not the same thing as moving in the direction of your truest nature.  Those actions that result in your heart knowing it is home, in fact, it is the exact opposite.  Longing says, "The words I use to define myself right now are bad because my right now is bad because I am bad" and that, my darling amazing all is a lie.   Truth is that you, that we are so much.

Tools of Ignorance

  "The tools of ignorance are all the gear worn by a catcher.
The most difficult position to play, the catcher is the on-field manager. He also gets hit by foul tips, usually breaks a few hand bones," ( looses his knees early in life from all that squatting for all those hours) "and in general sweats more than his teammates."

    A while back, I was looking into baseball slang and found this. I have no clue why I wanted to know about baseball slang, but it's probably the same underlying reason why I researched jellyfish eyes.   I'm ready for all things summer, including baseball.  Passed ready, in fact.  I doubt I'm alone though most people's desires are probably weather related, and I feel for all of you suffering through this climactic madness, but really I just hope that people forget last night by then.   Actually, I'd settle for my own selective amnesia.  
     My tools of ignorance (stupidity?) were cold medicine and one single, albeit one large single,  glass of wine.  I have learned that if you decide to ignore the warning against mixing these two items, your language skill will deteriorate into sailor speak, you will spill your soup down your shirt and none of it will bother you, until the next morning, at which time you will care deeply, particularly when you remember that your contribution to a political book discussion was most memorable for its use of the the word "cliterotica".    In my defense, I did try to cancel the party. I did tell everyone I was under the weather and I did refuse the wine the first two times it was offered to me.  Third times a charm...
someone shoot me...

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Karma is a beach

...you make one little crack on facebook about how great your weather is in Southern California when everyone else is either freezing cold and without power or about to be hit with a Cat 5 cyclone...
Is it too late to say I'm sorry?

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Shiny happy blog post everywhere...

.       So, I've begun to annoy myself like a splinter in the sit-down lately with all this philosophical flailing.  Not that I don't believe, like,  need a great deal of the flailing that I throw out there, because it is in the general direction of "happy=true", but too much introspection/deep mental probing is like any other probing, after a while, it has to stop or someone is going to get mule kicked in the head and who wants that? 
     This given morning was a call to fluff, you know, as opposed to glory.
...an hour later..
     I decided to go off in search of "fluff", something pretty to show you, something that would show you how hip, how clever, how relevant I am, how much glory I deserve (*squeak. damn) but stopped on the way to check a blog I frequent because I so often leave it with  An Attitude Adjustment.  
     I really should say recheck it because earlier in the morning,  I'd left a hip, clever, relevant comment and wanted to see if I'd gotten my much deserved glory. (*really really bad word, but my mother reads this so I won't type it, but REALLY bad word).   Instead, I got a reminder, a mule kick to the head, if you will.  It was a good kick, but a kick is a kick.
     I almost don't think I can do this.  I want to be light, and frivolous and all the things I think are the outward signs of bliss.  They're not.  I may "think" those things equate to bliss, but I believe they are all hat and no cattle, to borrow an expression from my home state.  February 7th, I'm going to be joining the Maladjusted Book Club in a Symposium on an issue that's so much bigger than it sounds, and it sounds huge:    
If you don't already know about it, and you never ever click on another link from this blog, this is the money click because you are the most amazing thing I've ever seen.  And, because I can't resist a little philosophical flailing, you could (should) put any noun you use to define yourself in place of the word Body.  

All images, Will Cotton.  I might be in love.