Wednesday, December 31, 2008

new years eve #1

It's new years eve 2008. Since I turned 30 in september I've lost first one boyfriend and then after, then my job after three and a half years, and now it looks like a lot friends on top of it, and I've moved to a new city away from northampton where I'd lived for five years and felt really comfortable.
So I'm opting to spend new years this year by myself in my little apartment.
There's been too many major betrayals recently, my foundation is shattered and I just can't see even trying to be around people right now.
It's been over 24 hours since I've been able to speak without starting to cry about, so it doesn't even make sense.
I guess it's sad in a way, but I just took this long walk by myself in the freezing cold and wind and ice and snow, in the dark, and walking by myself in the dark kind of crying quietly and looking up at the very faint crescent moon through the seemed like one of the most honest new years eve's I've had in a while.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Recipe: dinner to impress boyfriends

some not too nice cut of steak, like new york strip
1 bottle of the cheapest red wine
2 cloves of minced garlic
1 cup chopped shallots
1 stick of butter
salt & pepper
fresh parsley

In a large skillet, cook shallots, garlic and parsley over med-high heat for about five minutes, add steak, cook another five minutes, add red wine, turn heat brief up to high, then simmer for about 20 minutes. Salt and pepper to taste. Remove steaks, reduce the rest of the liquid for sauce.

1lb banana fingerling potatoes
1 cup gruyere
1 cup parmesan
1 stick of butter
1 clove garlic
1 cup 1/2 and 1/2
lots of salt and pepper

Boil potatoes. Drain. Mash with everything else, skins on.

Plate everything. Pour sauce from steak over both steak and potatoes. Serve with really good hot bread and butter.

It comes across kind of impressive, but it's easy, and not too expensive, because the slow cooking wine makes cheaper cuts of meat taste awesome.

Roasted brussel sprouts are good as a side with this.

honesty, and britney, and why things fail

Why is this so difficult, like in my last brief dating situation, there was so much talk of how similar we were, everything was based on that, but I wasn't dealing with any of the things I was hiding about me, even to myself when this was going on, like, I buy a huge amount of celebrity gossip magazines, that's what my work is about, so it's important, I really listening to britney spears albums, really, and britney has a lot to do with my multi-year underlying art project, so she can't be ignored with me, and I really like vegetables, and I don't even like donuts, but I do like going to the mall, and I like a lot of weird trashy crap as much as I like my more hipster acceptable neat vintage accessories, and I'm in general not the specialized version of myself I was trying to be. All the things I was presenting are true, but they are just a part of the whole, not the compete picture.
So I should have known something was wrong, the first time I want to buy a gossip magazine to cut up, and didn't, because I thought he wouldn't like it, even though he wasn't even there.
I'm not all cute 50's dresses, and bakelite silverware.

Recipe: Liz's signature chickpea curry

My oldest recipe:

2 cans of chickpeas
1 tbs garam masala
3 tbs mardas curry powder
1ps tumeric, coriander, cayenne, cumin
salt and pepper
1 large onion, chopped
4 to 5 cloves garlic, chopped finely
2 serrano peppers, chopped
1 bag baby spinach
about 4 cups 1/2 and 1/2
several tbs olive oil and butter

optional: frozen peas, potatoes.

Saute onion, garlic, and peppers in large pot with a lid, for five to ten minutes, on medium heat. Add all spices and stir throughly, cook for another minute. Make sure the mixture isn't too dry, if it is, add slightly more olive oil. Add chickpeas, combine throughly. Start adding spinach in bunches. Keep stirring. Once all the spinach has been added, and has wilted, add 1/2 and 1/2, if you want there to be a lot of sauce for bread dipping, add more. Turn heat up to high, bring to a very quick boil, turn heat down to low and simmer uncovered, for half an hour until as long as you want until you're ready to eat.
If adding peas or potatoes, do so after spinach, before 1/2 and 1/2. If adding potatoes, simmer uncovered at least an hour.
Serve over rice, with bread.

Recipe: sort of southern style beans & rice

I was recently thinking that everything I cook lately comes from my own invented recipe, and that maybe I should write this stuff down. What better place than this blog? I ask you.

sort of southern style beans & rice

1 onion, preferably vidalia
several cloves of garlic, to taste
2 jalapeno peppers
1 bunch collard greens
a couple of tbs each butter and olive oil
2 sausages, preferable andouille
1/2 package of frozen okra
several carrots
salt and pepper
white rice (I like jasmine or basmati)
several shots of whiskey, should be bourbon
splash of sriracha hot sauce
1 can of beans, I like black eyed peas the best, but pinto beans or kidney beans work too.

Saute chopped onion and garlic and peppers in butter and oil for about five minutes in a large pot with a lid.
Add carrots and collards, chopped, cook a while more, on medium heat.
Then add chopped sausage and about 1/2 a package of frozen okra.
Add whiskey to personal preference
and salt, pepper, and hot sauce to taste also.
cook on medium-high for another five to ten minutes, stirring occasionally.
Add can of beans, stir more, cook covered on low heat for about an hour.
Serve over white rice. Hopefully with rin's cheese straws.

things about a saturday

I've lived in this apartment and in this town for more than three months now (so scary, to think that this weird messed up transitional period of my life has been going on for months now...I can't believe that I'm been putting up with living like this for so long).
I realized that I have yet to spent an entire day here in greenfield where I don't use my car and I just stay here in town. I'm always driving off to northampton to meet people, or going to the store on my day off to shop, or driving to savers, or something, I think it says something about my general frenetic energy level, that I haven't been able to find the piece of mind to stop moving long enough to just spend a relaxing day off at home.
I slept terribly late, which was needed, it's been one of those weeks where every single morning I have so much wanted to stay under the covers longer then I've been allowed to. I got up around noon, made really delicious coffee from the rest of my Chocolate Sparrow coffee from when I was on the cape last week for thanksgiving, and wrote a letter to a friend about poetry sitting at the kitchen table.
One thing about being alone more lately, is that I actually get to do this like sit around in my pajamas and write long letters about poetry.
Because I get to stay up late reading poetry, which I did last night.
I took a long walk around town in the particularly wintery sun light, which I enjoyed visually despite a certain bleak aspect to it. I generally do really hate winter and the cold, but there is something about walking around on these late winter afternoons that does please me. There's a quality of the light that is very particular to winter, a paleness, and then the sunset colours are very specific shades of pale pink and peach.
I walked to the salvation army, and found an astonishingly wonderful cookbook from the 50's,"The Master Chef's Outdoor Grill Cookbook" that actually makes me want to jump for joy, the pictures are so great, these incredible technicolour pictures of all these wacky 50's people grilling and doing outdoorsy stuff. I'd like to just save it, but another part of me feels like it's way way way too good not to cut up.
I just walked to the Green Fields Market and am now in such a warm and fuzzy mood, because that was such a lovely food purchasing experience, sort of the opposite of the soulless grocery store experience, and you know, I have lots of reason to think about the soulless grocery experience.
I like walking to the store in the freezing night with my little reusable bag, and buying things like beautiful multicoloured carrots, and collards and andouille sausage, and eggs with of picture of the chicken they came from on them. And I bought wine from my local liquor store, and a pound of coffee beans from my neighborhood place.
It was nice just for once, to not spend any money in any huge chains, especially not the one where I am employed. I mean, not to be hypocritical, because my money comes from that store, and I am paid reasonably, but still it was nice to take day off from putting my money back in, and nice to feel like I was getting to have a charming local experience.
I'm drinking hot chocolate from mapeline farms chocolate milk, and I'm about to make black eyed peas with sausage and collards and carrots, in a whiskey sauce.
And drink some wine, and get some art done, particularly I need to start on my calender, and now I have the charming 50's people from the new cookbook, yay.
I just received a lovely picture via email that really puts me in a good place to start working.
Right now, not right this minute necessarily but in my life, I am both terribly lonely, and at the same time really reluctant to see people, since no matter how lonely I get, right now I seem to be happiest alone here in the apartment. I don't know what else to say about that.
If this is what he was feeling, then maybe I understand a little bit more about why he wanted what he wanted, and where he was coming from.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

rainy highways.

The last couple of nights, driving home in the pouring rain on the dark northern bound highway, feeling like I'm at the end of the earth, it’s been good. In a weird, sometimes sad way. For thinking. Really dramatic weather lately for a really dramatic life moment.

Not dramatic. Cinematic. Beautiful.

Beautiful perfect weather, especially for just trying to figure stuff out within yourself. 65 degrees and pouring rain.

And tonight I drove home after Ira Glass listening to the mix I made back in late august when I was thinking about him. Just thinking about what I might want, and what could happen. Funny to hear it now.

appreciating good conversation

I kind of fell apart a bit earlier this week, and for some reason right now I'm pretty ok, and that's really pretty cool.

I had a pretty insanely bad night on thursday, so bad that friday morning at 5:45am before work, was an "ok, no more" moment, and I think I am now doing a bit better than I was even before everything started really collapsing. I think I've been going downhill for a little while now, and that night was the last straw, and maybe now I can figure some things out.

In the past two days it's just worked out for some reason that I've had a lot of time to just have really good conversations with lots of different people I don't talk to enough. Like kind of a crazy amount of nice conservation for a couple of days, but it was really needed.

It reminded me that that's a real reason that Greg and I aren't together anymore, apart from all the other stuff, because I missed this.

Yesterday, friday, I woke up in the worst way possible, after a pretty shitty night, and then work was ok, I buddy rang with shane and we has some pleasant conversations about food and movies and tom waits, and I left and had my self reflecting target experience previously mentioned here, and then I met angie and danielle and vanessa for coffee and hot chocolate and tea and wine and beer at amherst coffee and then met rin and em for pizzas and then went to hugos. and somehow still made it back to greenfield to read in bed before sleep.

Getting to crochet and talk for that long was kind of wonderful, and with wine and hot chocolate too, and while it was raining outside and slowly getting dark in a november way. Then walking in the rain and mist for pizza and talking about art along the way was wonderful. My pizza was wonderful: prosciutto, black pepper, caremelized onions, and Parmesan cream sauce.

And today, I met Beth and Sarah and Sarah's boyfriend who was cool at thai garden and we went into roz's for a while and saw Ali, and then had spicy coconuty lemongrassy food, and then Beth and I went to look at frivolous pretty things which was delightful, especially those sparkly particularly masculine reindeer, and then Ira Glass at the Calvin and god I needed to hear someone just talk about stuff like narrative structure for a while.

I like people. I've missed them. Although I'm amazingly socially awkward still, it's very nice to spend time with good people when I can get out of myself enough to do it.

corporate america explaining me to myself

yesterday I was killing time before meeting danielle and vanessa and angie to knit, and I went to target and bought the following objects:

blue sparkly mini christmas tree with blue lights in that perfect dark aqua blue I love, and I've always loved blue lights anyway, they remind me of maia and her room in providence

discount dvd copy of Breakfast at Tiffanys

sparkly gold and white thermal footless tights

copy of Star magazine with "HOW COULD YOU?" as the giant yellow headline for my next painting

metallic shiny hair elastics in earth tones

This is just connected to my recent thing of really enjoying the grouping of random objects together. All summer I've been enjoying the combinations of things I've found at yard sales or on a particular thrift shopping day and such.

Like the saturday morning before work right before I moved where I found two great nautical pictures in frames, the kentucky jigger whiskey glass(which I just remembered is still at dustin's house from halloween which makes me annoyed again that I forgot it there) and the small brass pony.

Or when vanessa and I went on the salvation army tour of franklin county and I got the awesome brown leather belt, the perfect vintage levis jacket, the ship made of shells, the complete asian cookbook, and the ceramic deer.

Or I can't even talk about the most amazing trip ever to the Deerfield antiques center or whatever it's called, on rte 5 & 10 driving home that sunday early afternoon when I bought all the most amazing stuff ever all at once. The falcon picture! The brass crab!

I kind of want all these objects to get to live together forever.

And as a kind of sequel to my last post, the other thing my artwork is about (as if everyone was dying to know) is stuff overlapping with other stuff. if that makes any sense at all.

and that particular bag of stuff from the target in the hampshire mall of all places, that really actually perfectly describes me as a person. Those particular objects combined. That's a nice self portrait.

communcation & heartbreak & my return

I haven’t used this blog at all since I moved, since the end of august, since right before everything happened...for all these reasons…huge amounts of life turmoil takes up a lot of time, quiet time like right now where I'm getting to sit alone in my house with a glass of wine and write at the kitchen table, with no one needing me or caring that I'm hanging out drinking and doing this. Right after I got this apartment I had also no internet for a long time, so I couldn't even if I wanted to, and there were a lot of things going on which were very private, and which didn’t belong on the internet. Both because they were very intense and personal, and because they were secret, too.

In moments of crisis I tend to not be very contemplative, I just move ahead very very fast, and don’t stop to think. I just don't breathe, I just push ahead. Not that this is a good thing, at all. But sometimes it's the only was I know to survive.

As I’ve been calming down, and spending a more reasonable amount of alone time, I've been just writing in my sketchbook a lot, more then I have in years, and I haven’t felt any need to write here.

First I was in a period where I was with people all the time, because I had nowhere to live, and was staying with friends, and life became constantly social. Any self reflection at all had to be done in these brief stolen moments, on breaks at work, trying to find private space, and so my sketchbook become really really important, like it was the only private space I had.

I think one of the memories I will always retain from september and early october of 2008 is me on the bench by the bike trail out back at work, writing, trying so hard to make sense of it all. It always seemed to be incredibly beautiful and clear and blue and gold and perfectly fall, and I was always so confused.

I think also, if you spend no time alone, you really really don't need a blog, because sometimes a person really needs to stop communicating and be alone.

This still has a lot to do with then stuff that’s private that’s been going on, because that’s what I really feel the need to write about. I was thinking that I wouldn’t do this anymore. Because in order to make it through the past few weeks, I've really needed to write constantly, and it's not anything I would ever want anyone to read. Except for some of the art stuff. Which also doesn't belong here, I don't think.

One of the reasons that I always did like to do this was my obsessive need to document things like objects I find and see, and meals and tastes I create, views from windows and the way light looks at certain times of day. And maybe some of that stuff is different from my more personal weird writing, and certainly separate from how I’m feeling.

Real importance of ordinary, tiny specific concrete details to any creative medium.

The other night, in the midst of a horrible, horrible, completely heartbreaking and soul shattering phone conversation, I was drunkenly ranting and raving about communication, and how it was fundamentally the thing my work was about. Even in the midst of all the ridiculousnesss and anger and sadness that was going on in the conversation, I recognized something I was saying as really really true and important.

"horrible, horrible, completely heartbreaking and soul shattering phone conversation" makes me embarrassed to write because it's so over the top, but it was bad enough to really shake me up, and although I've been sad ever since it happened, in some ways I've been better than I've been in a while, because it was bad enough to make me really pause and think about what I've been doing recently.

I've been thinking about communication ever since. rin and I talked about it last night. It is what my work is about.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

strange vegetables

weirdest stir-fry ever:

the result of whatever I had in the garden this morning and my random impulse purchases at work tonight

japanese eggplant
chanterelle mushrooms
broccoli (garden)
heirloom tomatoes (garden)
sorrel (garden)
dragon beans
parsley, thai basil, rosemary (garden)
habanero pepper (garden)
jalepeno pepper
olive oil and butter

tasted good, although I might not serve it to company.

this is sad.

In Touch magazine has informed me that the rumors that Quentin Tarentino asked Britney Spears to be in his remake of Faster Pussycat! Kill! Kill! are NOT TRUE.

Damn. How awesome would that be.

I'm going to go listen to my Faster Pussycat soundtrack album and think sadly about all the lost possibilities.

looking forward

to buying camping equipment and camping with greg this fall. i can't wait to own my own tent. and wake up outside again, which i haven't done since i was eighteen on the last camping trip ali and ira and i went on. and roasting things in camp fires! and those nights looking into the fires, talking, no tv or reading or other distractions.

to not driving back and forth to ny every week and having more time and making more art. or any art outside my sketchbook. although i have been good this summer about really working in my sketchbook consistently. and writing a lot.

to practicing the drums and actually having band practice. and making my awesome mysoulisatigerloomingoverthecity tshirt design a reality.

to planning my 30th birthday party on saturday september 20th! best party ever.

calm before the storm

I think it was the most beautiful fall day ever today. Getting early up to take my walk before work, it was nice wearing my sweatshirt and it being all crisp and cozy and bright and shiny. I love new england falls, something in my heart just picks up and gets excited on days like today.

So much promise. So much hope. Anything could happen when the sky is that blue, and the greens are that green.

I'm writing this in the kitchen after work cooking my dinner and even though it's cold I opened the window because I love the feel of these very early fall nights. Sitting at the kitchen table drinking red wine and smelling/feeling/tasting the night air is, I don't know, cleansing? Exciting? Inspiring?

Today I met my small goals of remaining calm at work, even right up until the end with that woman in the cafe who had no idea how to use her $3000 brand new powerbook and thought she'd blame eliza and I. So we each had to stay an extra half hour late and explain the concept of internet. Or the "interweb" as she called it. We are the goddesses of patience.

I took a long walk on this beautiful morning. When I got home I made really good coffee and picked broccoli and tomatoes out of the garden for tonights dinner. I picked a bouquet of roses and gerber daisies for the kitchen table. I invented a smashing outfit of bright green, mustard yellow, purple, cowboy boots, and really good jeans. I got to work early with my best attitude. Whatever that means.

I keep trying to remember what I care about ever second, no matter what. I write in my journal and draw on breaks. I breathe. I look at trees. I take care of my garden. I stretch and dance and do little yoga things. Breathe, breathe, breathe.

And my animal card today was snake, transmutation and magic.


Friday, August 22, 2008

which is not to say. that change isn't good.

I am frequently entertaining fantasies of total and complete change.

Instead of driving to work, turning the car south and going to texas, or back to new orleans, or hell, north to montana to be a cowboy. Driving driving driving, away from connecticut and nyc, to places with skies and plains and views.

Quitting everything and living on a farm or on a boat.

My happiest moment this summer was when I arrived on the cape and drove straight to the beach in south dennis by myself and danced in the ocean during a midsummer dusk. When I first put my barefeet into the ocean I almost cried. That has to mean something.

I still really, really like my job, I do. And I'm grateful to have it. But I feel like, something, I don't know what, has to change...

...location, people, sleeping schedule, maybe I need some travel, I know I need more art but when, and I need to crochet the dress I invented in my head last spring, practice the drums, but paintings I really really need. I think...However much I try to quit painting, I can't, for some reason I need to make these ridiculous things...

Last night I awoke from a really good dream, to the police arriving at 5am because the neighbors were fighting. I think I've been confused by that all day. It was a nice dream though.

How I've successfully not lost my mind so far.

I'm not entirely sure. After day after day where I feel like I work as hard as I possibly can, so much that I can't breathe or think, and still it's not good enough.

But today someone was rubbing my neck in the booth, and remarked that I didn't really feel that tense. Which is amazing, since I always carry all my stress and tension in my body.

I've been trying so hard to be present, to be in my body, to stretch and to breathe.

Getting up early, taking my walks in the morning, taking time to stand barefoot in the grass and look at my flowers in the early morning. Driving home at night with all the windows open, listening to music I love loud. Sitting in the sun on my breaks and letting my mind go blank. Bubble baths.

Reading my animal card every morning and thinking about it and trying to act accordingly.

Allowing myself certain daydreams as a guilty pleasure.

Noticing the weather.

Being barefoot as much as possible.

Standing in yoga positions whenever I can. Dancing as I cook and water the plants.

Making sure I take notice of small physical things that bring me pleasure, taking that moment in the morning to enjoy snuggling against my sheets, taking naps in the afternoon with my windows open.

And buying myself Dogfish Head pumpkin beer, good cheese, Spicy Thai kettle chips, and a heirloom tomato before I left work today. Getting home and taking some old paintings of mine out of the attic and hanging them in the hall, to remind me of who I am.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

beauty for it's own sake

I've always been really into vegetables when gardening, and this summer I thought that was all I'd do. Because I'm pretty practically minded, and vegetable and herb plants are both beautiful and functional, so perfect. When I started this garden in the spring I was really not going to put in many flowers. I just planted the morning glories so there would be something on the fence.

but then i bought that yellow rosebush with ali and katie at walmart on a whim because it was cheap and it was beautiful and it needed a home, and i loved it, and now i have four rosebushes, and i don't know, i kept buying flowers, and i just love them so much. and the roses everywhere make me so happy.

and my morning glories just bloomed and they are so breathtaking, and they made my whole day the first morning i was getting into the car and saw them. what incredible blues and purples. wow.

and the experience all summer of having giant bouquets of flowers on the kitchen table that i picked myself...and hanging out in the yard looking at's been really great, and it's helped me maintain some degree of sanity this summer.

so maybe i shouldn't have been so smug about flowers, about growing things only for beauty. i mean, i have houseplants i love so much that they are like pets, so what was i even thinking?

in conclusion, next year i'm going to work on my flowerbeds.

and on a sad note, my squash plants had developed a fungus and i had to dig them out and throw them away today. which is hard because i hate to give up on plants. but now the garden looks much better. even though i felt like i was killing my dear friends.

Monday, August 4, 2008

celebration of life

instead of going to a funeral today (I wanted to and I couldn't)...


went to work and did a good job.

bought two for the price of one (she would have appreciated that) rose bushes and planted one in the yard, one to be planted on my day off wednesday after I think about the arrangement of things in the yard. I planted the one I got for free for gramma bess, because she liked bargains.

took my walk on the bike trail and thought about stuff.

got my fourth tattoo, the beautiful mermaid lady rin drew for me. and that was a good experience all around. And I met my goal of getting a tattoo created by someone I care about before I turn thirty, and it is perfect.

walked home from downtown with my crazy post-tattoo bandage and went to stop & shop for supplies.

talked to father about funeral.

made and labeled and froze three containers of pesto from stuff from my garden so I can eat summer things in winter. Two traditional basil, one spicy cilantro. I love the spicy cilantro one a lot. And all from garden things.

Am cooking myself a special dinner, a sort of ragu/stewy thing of steak tips sauted in olive oil, butter, a bottle of red wine, garlic and shallots and a jalapeno, with summer squash from ali, purple carrots from the noho farmers market, and red chard, rosemary, broccoli, and tomatoes from my garden thrown in. Simmered on the stove for a while, then served over leftover cold white basmati rice I think.

That where I am now, writing this while the summer stew simmers.

I'll probably eat while watching bad reality tv from the tivo (I love Money) which isn't very meaningful so I don't know where fits in, but whatever, take care of my tattoo, talk to greg, and read some of the poetry which was waiting for me from amazon when I got home from nyc yesterday (A Doorless Knocking Into Night, by Lexi Rudnitsky and Actual Air by David Berman).
And write the more secret details of the day into my journal.

Like the anger. And the guilt. And sorrow. That accompanies all of this.

Right now, I appreciate Greg, who told me to plant flowers when I couldn't go to the funeral, and that that would be ok. Beth, for giving me a second chance and having dinner with me last week. Rin, for drawing me this beautiful tattoo, and for being himself. Sarah K, for being there when I lost it at work last week, and for hugging me. And because she writes on facebook about quiche. Emerald for being tough and awesome and fighting through this. And my other gramma, because she ate raw oysters with me on cape cod last week, and because she understands parts of me that noone else does. And for gramma bess, because she loved us so much, even though she never understood us for a second. But she took us to diners, and bought all our school clothes, even though they were hideous, and let us watch tv endlessly and eat ice sandwiches and mcdonalds, and took us all out to breakfast every saturday and brought us cold cuts and knishes from sal's deli every friday, along with crazy muffins from stop & shop, pink strawberry and green pistachio, and made the best tuna fish possible on this earth, served on little dinner rolls, and wonderful brisket and chop suey and matzo ball soup, and bought me all these my little ponies and my little pony accessories like this weird robe and crown when ali was in the hospital and I stayed at her house when I was in kindergarten, and played cards with the ladies and had so many friends, and such an awesome taste in home decorating, and she loved me, and I wish I'd gotten a chance to say goodbye.

I don't know where that came from. That's not where I was going with this at all.

I think, I'm turning thirty in slightly more then a month, and someone who always took care of me as a child just died on saturday, and I'm trying to grow up, and I'm trying to do that by being present, and this is what I did today to take care of myself.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

maybe I’m not very smart.

Because why are the things I care about most the way certain things taste and the way the air feels on my skin and the grass feels under me feet. why is all that really makes me happy so essentially sense-oriented?

Taste, smell, and the way the air outside feels move more then I can say. Sometimes at night the way the air feels with the wind open wakes me up and I can't breathe I'm so happy. The air driving home tonight. Unspeakably wonderful.

And sometimes it scares me the way I relate to my plants more then I do people.

I think eating raw oysters sitting on the sand by the ocean with someone I love and want makes me happier then anything I could possibly imagine, so really, am i as intellectual as I think I am? I wonder.

three garden menus, & meditations on summer

1. red chard, chicken breast, banana peppers, and fresh thai basil, over black udon noodles.

2. summer squash over basmati rice cooked with butter, white wine, fresh parsley, dill, and thyme, and parmesan cheese.

3. panko fried green tomatoes with sriracha mayonnaise. and leftover cold squash.

and a bouquet of flowers from the garden (pink and red and white, zinnias, dahlias, gerber daiseys, and sweet williams).

I've been lately kind of enjoying these summer nights on my own although I really miss g. Come home from work, water the garden at dusk, cook food I grew myself, drink wine alone in the kitchen and listen to music and read. It's kind of nice. tonight it was perfectly beautiful and pre-summer rain when i was out there. I couldn't think of anyplace I'd rather have been then there in the garden at 8 on a july night, by myself, listening to the wind in the trees and taking care of my plants.

Now I'm frying the tomatoes that came from the branch that broke off my one of my tomato plants this morning, battered with panko bread crumbs and two loose eggs I bought at work and carried home very carefully, cushioned by the bread crumbs.

I am really learning to appreciate solitude. There is something about coming home only to plants that is very satisfying. And I think finally at very nearly 30 I have learned the value in cooking a lovely, complex dinner just for myself.

When Burns left I stopped cooking. And when I started dating greg I cooked for us. But this summer with greg away I've been really enjoying my solo dinners. Maybe I'm just old enough now to really appreciate my own company.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

I will...(inspired by beth)

One day I will....

...have an entire summer where all the produce I eat comes from my own garden. where I have the sea outside my window and I hear it when I sleep.
...communicate without using the internet. in morocco, japan, and iceland, and the rest of the world.
...figure out who my real friends are and manage to spend time with them and not lose touch with them. on a farm in the middle of nowhere and craft like crazy and enjoy open space and yarn and green things.
...fall in love forever.
...spend more time with ali and my parents.
...have sons and daughters who are challenging. a tiny restaurant or cafe or farm stand where all the food is perfect.
...paint, paint, paint.
...stop defending my passions. surrounded by gorgeous plants always.
...swim as much as I want. regularly.
...not hate my body no matter what.
...own my own beautiful house with views and a garden and a view where I can always go and where my weird thrift object collection can live. able to defend my alone time. on the west coast again. to gorgeous beaches. in the desert.
...go to las vegas whenever I want.
...spend days and days and days lying on the grass and reading.
...have people truly appreciate my artwork, at least once in a while.
...get more tattoos.
...stop worrying about stupid shit that I know is stupid. britney spears. in the whitney biennial.
...have lots of dogs and cats.
...and of course a pug.
...learn how to talk to people.
...listen to people's opinions but not care what they think.
...write in my journal everyday and put things in my sketchbook constantly.
...have gallery shows that are perfect to me.
...learn how to open an oyster. all the stupid, ugly thrift store paintings that I want too. And hang them.
...own and use beautiful professional quality kitchen equipment.
...drink good wine with dinner ever night.
...spend more time on boats. and being loved without fear.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008


Ignore my little menu posts. I'm just practicing for the fictional restaurant that in my head I eventually open. And I'm addicted to Top Chef, I can't help it.

p.s. I'm really addicted to cooking right now. Want me to cook you dinner? Or to cook with me? Really, call me. Instead of going out ever, I cook extravagant meals and drink lots of wine. It's really pretty good.

Some Spring & Summer 08 menus

Menu NYC Union Square Farmers Market June 7th: Pomegranate Fennel curried lamb homemade sausage

Fresh baby spinach sauteed with olive oil

Raw milk jalapeno Cheddar cheese with homemade cranberry walnut bread

The world's best oatmeal raisin cookie with honey vanilla ice cream

Menu (summer) 6/9: From the garden southern style:

Black-eyed peas with vidalia onions and jalapenos, over white rice.

Fresh collard greens mixed with sorrel.

Green salad with edible flowers.

Menu 5/24: Scallop and Morel Mushrooms in a Cream Sauce with Fresh Basil, Thyme, White Wine, and Shallots over Orechette Pasta.

Chibatta Bread Pudding in a Markers Mark whiskey sauce.

Menu 4/30: Fiddlehead Ferns Sauted with Polish Sausage, Olive Oil, and Shallots.

Bay Scallops in White Wine and Butter, with Freshly Grown Parsley and Thyme

Fresh Local Roasted Asparagus

Menu 4/27: Fresh Tri-Colour Linguine with Homemade Pesto Tossed with Local Asparagus

Garlic Bread

Strawberry Shortcake

Monday, June 9, 2008


...I want to go and live by myself on a farm. A farm by the ocean. And only eat things I grow and gaze at green and blue. And sleep smelling the earth and sea.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

I like. With Dinner.

I like driving home from during a gorgeous spring dusk with my windows open listening to the silver jews' american water, after a day in which I did every single thing I was apprehensive about, and all those things I think I did well, and going home to a pleasantly empty house to cook an elaborate recipe I invented in my head while walking in the sunshine on my break, and making the food even more delicious by using my kitchen window garden for the first time, and starting to pack for my trip to the desert while smelling my own rosemary and thyme cooking, walking barefoot in my kitchen by myself wearing my green corduroy apron and my oldest tshirt.

For those interested, the invented recipe was: Olive Oil Garlic Chicken breasts with artichoke hearts and green peppers, in a reduced sauce of fresh rosemary, thyme, parsley, white wine, tomato puree, and vietnamese chili sauce over middle eastern couscous. Inspired by the sunshine, by a recipe in the new Rachael Ray magazine, and by the book on Cuba Vanessa lent me I finished today.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

new work and my finger

so all of a sudden I've been making the first good new work I've done in at least two years...definitely since the a.p.e show...since I feel like everything new I showed last winter and spring was really crap. and I seem to have done it without going back to the older, more traditional, paint-only stuff that was boring me.

it only took two years, but I seem to finally have figured out a way to incorporate the collage stuff onto canvas successfully. or at least I think so. To me, anyway.

and there's randomness, and text, and images from varied sources working together, and drawing. and a really textured surface.

and it's looking right.

and for some reason, even though I usually prefer to work really large, small surfaces are working for me, so I can work in my room.

and my crooked finger isn't really getting in the way.

on a little side note, I've been feeling a ton of anger about my apparently permanently messed up finger, a lot of it because I am an artist and a craftsperson after all, and MY HANDS ARE IMPORTANT damn it.

but I'm making way better work than I was before I got hurt. And before I got hurt, I was thinking maybe I just wouldn't make paintings anymore, I was so frustrated. So who knows if I would have made what I'm making now if I hadn't had all this time to think. More time than I've had to figure stuff out since I was in high school, at least. And then I wasn't using it properly.

So I guess, just take things as they come. and try not to get to angry about things that seem awful.

thank freaking god it wasn't my right hand, right? and that the only activity so far I've found that seems impossible for me to manage now is typing with both hands, and I never could do that anyway.

remember to be grateful, grateful, grateful. could have been worse, worse, worse.

I'm all over the place, so I'm going back to painting.

oh, and when I have a couple of more things finished, I'll try to take some pictures and post the new stuff on my website. Maybe totally revamp the website, since there's a lot of stuff on it that I hate. anyway, will let y'all now.

creatively busy

After more than three months off recovering from the tendon injury, I'll be back to work, very soon, and it struck me the other day how when i first got hurt, I was really freaked out by the free time, and now how even without work, I seem to be incredibly busy. I have like eighteen projects going at the moment. I guess part of the change is simply that I've gotten used to functioning despite my crooked finger. But also I think I've gotten better about being motivated with my own free time.

Right now I am actively:

1. trying to finish reading David Foster Wallace's Infinite Jest

2. reading the Omnivore's Dilemna

3. making handmade valentine cards and mailing them to people

4. working on four different paintings (which are turning out really well, I think)

5. knitting a pair of socks

6. crocheting a present which is secret so I cannot say more

7. trying to teach myself to do needlepoint

8. making sure I draw and collage in my sketchbook regularly to keep my visual thoughts focused

9. reading this week's new yorker so I don't have piles of unread new yorkers lying by my bed

10. remembering to keep trying out new and complicated recipes while I have time to shop and cook and don't have to spend all day dealing with other people's food needs

11. putting together a valentines day package

see? that's a lot. even today, with weather so miserable that I've not left the house except to run to the store for snacks, I've been so busy in my room that this is the first real break I've taken since I got up around 9. anyway. it's been a pretty nice day.

Thursday, February 7, 2008

bike trail chronicles

bank employee looking person 1: "so they had mussels, fried oysters..."

bank employee looking person 2:"fried oysters!!!?????? they can fry oysters? how? does it work? are they really fried? that's crazy!"

this made me laugh because it sounded like something a whole foods customer would say. well, you don't fry them with the shells on, sir. people don't ever think before they open their mouths, it seems.

p.s. if you haven't noticed, I take a lot of walks since I haven't been working. chronicles of the housebound. well, I'm not really housebound anymore, I can drive. But it's still nice to take advantage of the free time to exercise.


that walley, sarah, and emerald were at whole foods when I went into shop today. being in the store kinda makes me panic at the moment. unconscious-accident related trauma, apparently. although I still don't feel like the accident itself should have been that traumatic. the fact that my finger is still so messed-up at this late date is what is traumatic. but regardless, walking into the doors of whole foods makes it hard for me to breathe. go figure. anyway, y'all made me feel a lot better this afternoon. thanks lovely sweeties. i miss you guys.

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

lighthouse keeper

also because I'm so restless lately, I've been kind of obsessed with all things nautical. I want to go to sea. I want to live on a fishing boat. I was really into the guy on anthony bourdain:no reservations last night who lived by himself in a neighbourhood in st. bernard parish that everyone else had abandoned and fished on his shrimp boat. I love the culture of the louisiana river parishes, and the shrimp and oyster men.

and this weekend I was at home on the cape, and spent as much time looking at the ocean as much as I could. which was more comforting then I ever could have hoped.

I'm just so out of sorts all the time lately. I have always been a very good, sound sleeper, and lately not only do I ever single night without interruption wake up sometime around four and toss and turn for about two hours, I have actual nightmares about like horror-movie-esque bloody things scratching on the windows and such. very vivid nightmares. which is weird. because I never dream like that.

But the ocean definitely helped. greg took a lot of beautiful pictures. I am going to print them and post them around my room.

oh, and regarding lighthouses.

on saturday greg and I and my mom and my mom's wife took this walk in provincetown at race point down the fire road out to the lighthouse. and I was dreaming of being the lighthouse keeper (I know those don't exist anymore, just a dream). and on the way home we stopped by the highland lighthouse in north truro to watch the sunset, because I like lighthouses, and the guy with the keys to the lighthouse happened to randomly be there for the sunset, and we got to go up in the lighthouse to watch the sunset. in truro, where you can see the ocean from all sides. did you know that once the sun touches the horizon, it will sink all the way into to the ocean in less then five minutes?

then I really wanted to live in the lighthouse.

and the historical society guy was telling us that female lighthouse keepers where known for always risking their lives to save sailors lost at sea.

and of course earlier that day we had gone to the beach in wellfleet where the eighteen century shipwreck had washed ashore in the storm last week. so for someone who likes living in their head I had a nice fantasy going.

but enough about me for tonight already! how about that super bowl!

in conclusion, I just bought bjork's medulla for a second time since my copy has been missing for almost a year and I gave up (probably somewhere under the seat of my car) and it's so awesome, listening to it again is making me so happy. if you own it, play it.

restless (& thoughts on new orleans)

taking the last post further, I'm sensing a vague theme of restlessness in me lately.

I used to frequently have a fantasy when driving my car of getting onto the highway and just driving, driving, in the most common fantasy ending up in texas. I have this whole thing about moving to texas. I can't get into it all right now.

It's not a serious fantasy, just sometimes I'd be getting on the bridge to drive to hadley, and while waiting at the light, I'd imagine getting on 91 south, taking it down to 95, driving down to tennessee, and cutting over to louisiana and texas. I've sometimes thought conceptually about mixtapes I would make to bring on this drive.

today in the car I had this desire really strong. just turn the car and go. today to new orleans.

I'm feeling very new orleans nostalgic today, it being mardi gras after all of course, but when I lived in new orleans I wasn't even that into mardi gras, so that's not entirely it. but seeming it on the news brings up memories. and last night anthony bourdain went to post-katrina new orleans on his show, and even though the show was kind of crappy, for some reason it was intensely emotional also. I always, always thought, when I moved back here (way pre-hurricane), that I would eventually go back. and now I don't think I ever would. because I do think it will happen again. and things will never be the same. and I totally think the people who stayed rock, but I also feel that they are going to lose everything again, so maybe they should try to rock somewhere else. I don't know.

but I also really badly want to go back, and walk on those streets, and see my old house, and just see how things really are.

isn't that what we all really want. to see how things really are.

but I was driving today, and just thinking, goddamn, how much do I want to just drive straight to the bywater, and see if the bywater bbq is somehow still operational and go and sit at the bar and have the chicken and bacon club sandwich and a gin and tonic and find out where people are. and all the neighborhood gossip.

stupid that television shows about this still make me cry. no matter how inane.

I made red beans and rice for dinner in honor of mardi gras, which is silly because I never ate that way when I lived there. but what to do? I'd throw some beads around, but I got rid of all my parade junk when I moved here because I was sick of it. I'd like to go out dancing tonight at least, but no one seems into it, and I'm not in the mood to create a holiday all on my own right now.

Maybe if I still had some beads.


today I drove my car for the first time since november 11th, when I severed the infamous ring finger tendons. I'm still wearing a cast (and as of today, an old-fashioned plaster of paris one, yay fancy modern medical technology) but I have to begin practicing my return to so-called normal life.

I was actually pretty terrified, since as many of you may know, I'm generally a pretty terrible driver...but when I finally got into my car this afternoon...oh man...I swear I was tearful with joy. really. turning onto prospect street, listening to the magnetic fields loudly, I got all choked up. the first time I accelerated on the gas, I was bouncing up and down in my seat.

I really love my car. she's so big and green, and has a lighthouse glued to her dashboard. and her seats are big and cozy and the heat works really well and she plays music so wonderfully.

I got so excited that I immediately cleaned out months of trash, and all the gross wet stuff from the ceiling leak I was having in the summer and fall. It's nice to have the old girl back.

this must be some sort of lesson in humility...or the pleasure that comes from limited expectations...or something...because nothing has made me so happy in weeks as driving to hadley listening to "the charm of the highway strip" and going to the fabric store and target. where I acquired embroidery supplies and the cutest pink long underwear set for $5.

I wanted so bad to get on the highway and keep driving....just holding onto the steering wheel and pressing down on the gas I feel like I woke up from a long dream I've been having.

I know that cars are bad for the earth and it's kind of bad to love them, but I have all these issues with power and control, and it means so much to me to know I could drive away if I wanted to. I think knowing that I could take off in the night by myself if I needed to is the thing that keeps me sane.

I haven't been able too go places in so long, and I've been having so many thoughts about roads and romanticizing movement. I went kayaking on sunday and it felt incredible just to push the paddles through water. for someone who's been mostly housebound for more than three months, breaking through ice with kayak paddles was, i don't know, i can't describe it. I want to say again, like I've been sleeping for a long time and I just woke up.

Friday, January 11, 2008

today on the bike trail, these three teenaged boys were sort of hassling me, but like i was their age. like teasing me in a flirty kind of way. and by

today on the bike trail, these three teenaged boys were sort of hassling me, but like i was their age. like teasing me in a flirty kind of way. and by teenaged, i mean 13-14 years old. i mean, come on, boys, i'm 29. more than twice your age. please. could it have been the pigtails? or the fact that all my clothes came from charlotte russe? i don't know.

eggplant musings

today i came home from a walk in the pouring rain soaking wet. i'd been in a weird mood all day...woke up pretty early, but was kind of depressed and was feeling a really strong lack of purpose, so went back to sleep for way too many hours. when i woke up i was still sort of mopey. i don't know. rainy day stuff i guess.

but then i actually went for a walk and got soaked to the skin and felt better for some reason. i guess it was rather cleansing. and then the weather broke just after i got home, and as i walked up the stairs to my room in my dripping jeans the sun came out just as it was setting, and made my room sort of glow.

then since no one was home (which is sort of rare around here) i went down to the kitchen and made eggplant parmesan and played the new mixtape i just made very loudly. eggplant parmesan is one of my oldest comfort recipes, along with tuna casserole. those are the two things i learned to cook from my mom and the first things i cooked when i got my own apartment in college. and the things i cooked to impress girls when i was seventeen. uh-huh.

this was not supposed to be a post about cooking eggplant, by the way, but i did have the thought that i may be happiest by myself at home in my sweatpants frying eggplant, listening to good music loudly, drinking a glass of wine, watching a sunset, and dancing.

i am generally happiest cooking i think. i am also very happy working in my sketchbook, but then i have guilt about the purpose of the activity, why am i doing this, is this a waste of time, etc. cooking gives me the same feeling, only i know the purpose.

i don't know. maybe i've been reading too many food books. since i have all this time to read, i have this whole reading this of food writing. currently, it's "heat" by bill buford, next will be "trail of crumbs" by kim sunee or "real food" by nina planck. for those of you even remotely interested in my reading list.

or maybe i'll just read the new "in touch". oh britney. how has it come to this?

Monday, January 7, 2008

overheard on the northampton bike trail recently...

"no i don't think you cheat on me all the time, just some of the time"

"well i think it all started with your slutty roommates and with the police showing up at my parents house"

"you have a doctor's appointment on a friday, that's so gay ... no, my mom made the appoinment, my mom's gay"

good times (warm weather, melted cheese, and badass outsiders)

1. the fact that it was 50 degrees out today, and will be 65 tomorrow. i know it was a horrible illusion, but GOD DAMN it was nice to walk outside today in the sun wearing only a hoodie and my favorite blazer and my giant dolce & gabbana sunglasses feeling the melting snow drip onto my head and pretend it was spring for a moment. i'm going to shove all the snow off the picnic table in my backyard tomorrow and sit on top of it in a t-shirt and make believe i am sunbathing. i know globwarming is very bad and all, but i am a californian by birth. i fuckin' hate new england winters. bring on the 65 degree january days. fuck it, i should just move back south.

2. i can lately manage to cook a little, mostly because my good arm has gotten pretty freaking strong. and i can use my left hand enough to steady things, as long as i don't lift them. anyway. so tonight i made homemade macaroni and cheese from the martha stewart cookbook (the old, intense one, not the new trashy one). with life nine cups of cheese and proscuitto too. it was sort of insane, if i do say so myself. and i said "fuck you, martha" and made the crust out of ritz crackers and melted butter like my mum taught me and it was way better them the homemade breadcrumbs martha recommended. plus, i haven't cooked from this cookbook in a while and forgot that all the recipes are for 12 people so i made a ridiculous amount and now tomorrow i can use the leftovers to make the fried macaroni and cheese balls from the paula deen christmas magazine i've been dying to do. good times.

3. i was flipping through channels trying to escape from the horror that was the i love new york 2 reunion show, and found john waters' 'cry baby' on encore. which i'd been wanting to see lately anyway. which is such an awesome movie. plus john waters is my idol because he collects fake food like i do, and keeps it randomly all over his house. and he loves baltimore and provincetown, two places i love love much. i love ricki lake in crybaby so much i can't stand it. sad that she turned into some sort of lame weight loss champion. my new project while i'm still on the disabled list is to rewatch all john waters movies. maybe i should finally go ahead and get a netflicks subscription.