Today, Tumblr sent me a message telling me that it’s this blog’s birthday. This blog is three years old. It walks and talks and eats glue.
This winter is a hell of a thing. It is bitterly cold. There is snow everywhere. Yes, this is the way of winter but I don’t have to like it. I look forward to, like, forty degree weather. That seems downright balmy.
Here are some writing tidbits:
Goodreads is doing a giveaway of An Untamed State. Details here. Also, there will be an audiobook of An Untamed State from Audible! Also, FRENCH FLAPS. The universe heard my ardent desires. Next up, tiny baby elephant!
I had some final thoughts about Woody Allen, celebrity, and consumption.
I also have an article in the March 2014 issue of Glamour. I took a picture of it because, well, yes, I’m that dorky. PAGE 108!
And then this funny thing happened:
I don’t even know but I am excited.
Last night, I made a Tortilla Espanola with Bitter Green Salad courtesy of Blue Apron. Sometimes, when I decide I don’t like what the next meals are, I cancel but I told myself, “Get on board with being less picky.” It’s not going to be easy. I just hate so many things. Anyway, first I sliced the potatoes, then seasoned with salt and pepper, and let those cook for a spell. I wasn’t really keeping track of time.
When I got to work yesterday, I was reminded of how people LOSE THEIR MINDS when it snows. They forget what the parking lot looks like for the other 9 months of the year. This person is parked on the sidewalk.
While the potatoes were cooking, I “diced” a shallot and let it soak in sherry vinegar. My knife work (a term I learned from Top Chef), is not good. I have a brother who is an excellent cook, who would be appalled by such knife work.
I don’t care. I had a knife. I had a vegetable. I disassembled the vegetable.
I’ve been in a funk. I thought it had lifted from the end of last year but it hasn’t really. Sometimes, it just feels good to admit, why yes, I am miserable. This doesn’t make me ungrateful for the good things, but I am not really good at faking happiness. It’s so exhausting.
I added onions, green pepper, and garlic to the potatoes and left those to cook for another eight minutes or so.
At the beginning of last semester, I talked with H, whose master’s thesis I am advising, about happy stories, and the challenge of writing them. We met yesterday and she is still stymied by this idea of happy story, and what that might look like. I think many writers are, which accounts for so much of the darkness in fiction. I want to write happier stories, at least once in a while, but like H, I am trying to figure out what that looks like. I am trying to write about happiness in ways that aren’t cloying, in ways that engage the reader. I am also, I think, trying to figure out what happiness looks like in life. I am wondering if there is a way to choose happiness. I would like to find that way.
Elsewhere in the kitchen, or like, on the counter across from the stove, I whisked two eggs, 3/4 of a cup of milk and some parmesan cheese. Now, the recipe called for Manchego cheese but I am not familiar with that cheese. I am also deeply suspicious of the name and the texture and I can only overcome so much of pickiness.
The older I get, the more I realize how difficult it is to change, to make better choices. But sometimes, there is an imperative. Sometimes, change is necessary.
Every morning, I wake up and think, “Ugh.” It is so hard to even get out of bed but I have a job and other responsibilities, so eventually, I do. I think, “I should exercise today.” I do some basic preparations—finding my iPod, filling a water bottle, locating my sneakers and sports bra. I think, “This is good. I am going to do this.” And then I just feel like, “What is the point?” I abandon my preparations and then I enter a spiral of self-loathing about my lack of motivation, my inability to make positive change, etc etc etc.
As I write this, I am thinking, “I am going to exercise today. I am. I.. am.”
When the vegetables were ready, I poured the egg mixture over the potatoes and let it cook on medium high heat until it set. I had no idea what setting would look like so I just let it hang there for a couple minutes.
I will also write today. I will turn in overdue essays. I will grade. I will work on my novel. I will read. I will leave the house. I will do more than stare at the television, stuck on the same channel, for hours on end. I will. I will. I will.
Next, the I put the pan in the oven, at a toasty 425 degrees. I have ALWAYS wanted to stick a frying pan in an oven. It feels very adult-like and fancy.
But then, the day passes and I am still entertaining this refrain of all the things I will do. Night falls and I begin to reconcile all the things I haven’t done.
This dish was to be served with a salad of arugula, radicchio, and endive, all of which I sliced and diced and also crushed some almonds to put atop. I dreaded having to eat this concoction because, again, pickiness but I persevered.
Sometimes, though, I think that I need to be a bit gentler on myself. I need to demand smaller increments of change for myself. I will respond to some e-mails. I will drink a healthy amount of water. I will comb my hair. I will prepare tomorrow’s lectures. I will answer the phone when it rings instead of letting it go to voicemail.
To prepare the dressing I added dijon mustard and oil to the sherry soaked shallots and briskly combined said ingredients.
The thing about change is that I see the end goal. I see where I want to be and then I get overwhelmed by how far away that goal is, so I think, “Why bother?” I feel defeated before I’ve even started, so now, I’m trying to think of change without a goal in mind—change for change’s sake. We’ll see how it goes. I just want so much.
I tossed the salad with the sherry vinaigrette and it was really quite excellent. I am broadening my palate horizons, one strange vegetable at a time.
I idly checked OK Cupid yesterday for the first time in a while and this one guy who messaged me boasted about having his own car and a job. This was his self-marketing. He would like a woman who cooks, bakes, cleans, etc., or perhaps, a housekeeper he can have sex with.
No idea where to go from here, none at all.
After about fifteen minutes, I took the Tortilla Espanola out of the oven, let it cool for a few minutes, and then I tried it. For whatever reason, it looked nothing like the pretty picture on the recipe card but it tasted excellent. I picked out the green peppers. I couldn’t help it.