Friday, October 3, 2008

I'll never let you go/If you promise not to fade away/Never fade away

Well, the first week of unemployment is done, under my belt. If we don't count the weekend, by day three I was an emotional wreck. OK, so the last days coincided with my PMS schedule and the first day of non-work coincided with my cycle. I have to take it into consideration that my moods could have been ruled by my hormones, at least partly. All I know is that I had a fabulous day on Monday. My show went smoothly; I thought it was great and somehow the most cohesive so far. The rest of the day was fantastic, with great conversations and affectionate chats with the people I care most about. I felt connected and energized and relieved to have the time to myself away from work.

On Tuesday, things seemed to change a little. I felt a little more anxious and suddenly no one was available to communicate with me. Perhaps I have child-like expectations, but if I have a great day, full of something wonderful, well then I want that something wonderful the next day too. And maybe the day after that. Of course, the world doesn't work that way and I immediately go into full-on self-pity, I-was-wrong-about-everything, everybody-hates-me mode. I'm not proud, but I am willing to admit I do it. It's unreasonable, it places ridiculous expectations where they shouldn't be and I have no doubt it's incredibly annoying to anyone in the path. It's a bad place to be for everyone involved. Then, a glitch in technology really threw me for a loop. Unfortunately, I didn't realize it was a technological glitch and I fell headfirst down the rabbit hole of self pity.

This mess didn't really kick in full force until Wednesday. Suddenly it seemed like a lot of unfilled time loomed before me. And on top of everything, I had a bit of an existential crisis regarding what, exactly, I want to do with my life, going forward. Like I was going to decide that day. In retrospect, I see the ridiculousness of my panic and anxiety. Which makes it all the more dear that my friends didn't disregard but instead offered comfort and encouragement and patience. I'm not sure what I did to deserve such consideration, but I'm grateful.

God, when did I become such a handful? My apologies to everyone around me for my fits of paranoia, pity and anxiety. Yesterday Steve pointed out to me that "you've always been moody" when I was trying to place the blame of my "new" mood swings on impending hormonal changes. I wanted to argue; I tried to argue, but fuck, maybe he was right. He is right. It's probably stunningly obvious to anyone who knows me that this is true, but I was honestly gobsmacked by this revelation. I suppose I'm lucky that I have any friends or lovers. I'm a big pain in the ass. But on the flip side, my highs are pretty high (and, really, my moods fall on the positive side a high percentage of the time), I'm ridiculously passionate about those things and people whom I care about and I'm as obsessive about them as I want them to be about me. (Well, maybe everyone doesn't see that last as a positive, but I do.)

At any rate, the crisis was sorted by the end of the day Wednesday and I was feeling better about everything. Things seemed more...scheduled. Or something. I had lovely morning plans, I had afternoon plans to go shopping with Michael and a much brighter outlook overall. I still have no idea where I want to land, work-wise, but I'd rather not worry about that for the moment.

So let's get back to what I'm been cooking this week. On Wednesday morning I went shopping at the international grocery store in Kirkwood, mostly on a mission to find Kinder Eggs, prompted by TRex's taunting about the ones he had just gotten direct from the Netherlands. I was unsuccessful in that search, but I did manage to buy the makings of a nice stir fry. So, feeling so much better about life in general, I cubed the fried tofu, chopped bok choy, onions and celery and prepared the snow peas. I also bought a tub of gorgeous crystallized ginger and I chopped a bit of that to throw into the wok for the sauce I concocted of soy, rice vinegar, sugar and sriracha. Since I had waited until the last minute, as usual, to cook (hey time zones are a bitch when your correspondents don't live in your own), I threw the brown rice in the pressure cooker. I love brown rice and hate to eat the white stuff, but who has an hour to cook rice? I rarely plan ahead that far. The pressure cooker is an absolutely ideal cooking implement for brown rice -- in 20 minutes you have fluffy, perfect brown rice. And pressure cookers are cheap and not at all scary to use, once you get used to the method. They are also ideal, by the way, for cooking dried beans. I mean, who remembers to soak beans overnight? Unfortunately, I neglected to take a photo of the stir-fry, but it was bright and pretty. The pre-fried tofu was delicious and soaked up just enough of the sauce without getting squishy. Sometimes I think I could go back to being vegetarian. Sometimes. It does seem hopeless when the next day found me drooling over a packet of thick, raw sirloin.

On Thursday morning I wanted to make myself some crumpets from scratch, having never had them before. The batter was simply a runny yeast dough and the final result was a batch of a sort of a firm, less sweet pancake. They were good, but I had tons of batter left over but I didn't feel like making and saving the remainder. I decided to simply add more flour and let it rise all day. I finally managed to shape it into a loaf and popped it in the oven just before dinner. The result was kind of cute:

I had also bought a package of lavash at the international grocery, thinking it might be ideal for making flatbread pizza, so that became the basis for Thursday night's dinner. The individual flatbreads were quite larger than I had thought, but perfect for making one big pizza. I spread on sauce, coarsely chopped up a couple of portabello mushrooms, a Vidalia onion and some raw spinach and, as a tribute to Britain, sprinkled the top with corn before topping with mozzarella. [To explain, Steve and I had pizza in London years ago. It was mostly like the pizza we were used to except it came with corn and we opted for the fried egg in the middle as well. I have recreated that version a couple times, but does one really need an egg on a pizza? I'm all for the deliciousness of runny yolk, but perhaps it's overkill with pizza.] The lavash worked perfectly for pizza and I can't wait to make a couple more with the remaining sheets of bread. However, the resulting photograph is quite terrible (seriously terrible and inept) and I apologize.

Yesterday we had an appointment for Steve to get a haircut as soon as he was done with his show and we headed for the Paul Mitchell academy. One of the students there had been a regular customer of mine and she seemed like a sweet, talented girl and Steve was clamoring for a cut. I imagined he was just wanting a trim and I blithely sent him off with Suzi. Not thinking that this was a training facility I didn't realize I'd be waiting over an hour and a half for their return. When they finally emerged I was already so tired of waiting that the sight of his very short hair clammed me up immediately. I was rather shocked at my own rudeness when Suzi asked if I liked it and I curtly replied, "No." I backpedaled a little, explaining that the cut was fine but that I was shocked at the length. She had styled it in an odd way too. When we were riding the elevator down another customer who had overheard us at the counter asked how long his hair had been and I told him it had been nearly shoulder length and that now he looked like Alfalfa. I messes around with it at home, added some product and I'm getting used to it. I know I could conjure a great emo boy look but Steve won't let me and he's probably wise. Anyway, judge for yourself:

Last night we were left to our own devices and I really wanted to get out for at least a drink or two. Steve suggested steak and drink and off we went. I wore silver shoes and I wanted to take a picture of them. I've had these for a while, but I haven't worn them much but I still adore them.

That's probably enough for now. I've navel gazed enough for today.


Allison said...

Steve's hair is totally cute! It draws attention to his pretty eyes.

Want some tomatoes for BLT's? They're super good and plentiful. I have to get rid of them before it freezes :(

Pollux said...


Did you know Cat has a blog now?

Wow... Amazing what you find when you go out and about looking for stuffs.

Cat Pick said...

Allison: I'm getting used to the hair, reluctantly. Like I have a choice, anyway! Considering he's turning 50 in a couple months he's looking awfully good. :) And yes, to tomatoes. Always yes to tomatoes.

Jim: I see Michael got to you. Unbidden, I swear (well, I did complain a teensy bit...). We should all hang out soon, yeah?

dana said...

Would it surprise you to know that I've amassed a giant collection of Kinder Egg surprises over about the last 15 years??? Of course they are in the basement. Somewhere.

They are such lovely little bits of happiness! I'm looking at a few of them (on my desk at work) right now. The best one is a little pelican who you can open up to find a little plastic fish. Aww.

Cat Pick said...

I shouldn't be surprised that you have a collection of Kinder toys. :) Color me jealous.