October 30, 2006

The devil will not be wearing Prada

I thought I had a great idea for a costume. The devil wears Prada. I bought some devil stuff on Sunday after running a half marathon and hitting a local mexican joint for barbacoa. Mmmmm....

Today, I headed over to Nordstrom after work to pick up some Prada. I had done some searching on-line and figured I could get something at a ridiculous, but not completely absurd price. Right, try again. Nordstrom doesn't even carry it. They sent me to Nieman Marcus, you know the place that only takes cash or american express. Raaaaaiiiiiiigggghhhht.

But I persevered. What price fashion? What price winning the halloween costume for 1st year associates?

Oh, $310 for the shittiest nylon piece of crap "purse"? That's the price? Well, that price is just too steep. Sure, I love some of the shoes. But, I'm not in the market for shoes that cost more than a weekend vacation. Come to think of it, there are very few articles of clothing I'd be interested in that cost that much. It would have to be some sort of wonder mateial that was going to last forever. But I digress.

Keep an eye out for me. I will be the devil wearing a hand drawn FRADA emblem of some sort. I'm going to claim fair use & parody.

Happy Halloween.

October 29, 2006

More than one way to cook a squash

E was suprised to learn that spaghetti squash wasn't a meal involving spaghetti topped with some sort of squash sauce.

Nope, it's stringy, delicious, healthy, and fun squash that looks like spaghetti when you pull it from the shell. If you are looking for a slightly labor-intensive but relatively healthy dinner, serve the spaghetti squash pancakes below with salad. As a post-salad course, one 7-inch squash makes enough pancakes for 3 hungry or 4 dainty eaters (none of those 'round here...). Even lazier? Just bake the squash, cut it in half, remove the seeds, and separate with a fork until it looks like spaghetti. You can serve each half topped with salt and pepper, or if you've got it laying around: pasta sauce, olive oil and garlic salt & pepper, or salsa.

Spaghetti squash pancakes

1. Pre-heat the oven to 375.
2. Stab the squash over a dozen times with a knife.
3. Bake for an hour.
4. Cut in half, take out the seeds and pull out the strands of squash with a fork.
5. Mix squash strands, 1/2 cup or so grated parmigiano cheese & 1 cup of flour or so.
6. Form 1.5 inch diameter patties.
7. Fry in a sauce pan drizzled with olive oil on each side until dark brown.
8. Serve warm with salt, pepper, and hot sauce.

October 27, 2006

Next Friday?

I'm taking a poll. What does it mean to you if I say, "See you next friday?"

If the day I say it is a Friday, clearly, I mean the next Friday. But what if it's a Thursday? What if it's a Monday?

E, on multiple occasions has asked for clarification when I say something like, "next Friday we are having dinner with so-and-so." Typically, his clarification sounds like this, "do you mean this friday, or next friday?" And I always think, if not say, "Goodness, listen to yourself, Man!"

But today, a friend called me up thinking we were hanging out tonight. My email had said, "We're free next Thursday and Friday." I meant Thursday and Friday of next week. In the future I will not be so vague.

But I can't help but wonder why anyone would think I'd use the word "next" if I could just as soon say the exact same thing without it. It's so inefficient. If someone took the time to throw in an extra word, I'd assume it had something to add to the context. But, I've decided I'm probably in the minority.

So, here's the question. If someone says "next Friday" to you and it's a Monday, how many days in advance do you think you are discussing? Please reply in the comments if you have the time. I'm curious how off I've been. Is there anyone with me? How many of you think I'm hilariously pedantic and insane?

I beseech you, help me understand, for I have no doubt I've gone wrong, I'm merely trying to measure the angle of stray.

October 25, 2006


Last week, I was in the self-indulgent, unemployed, read self-help books, sleep-in, cry whenever the hell I feel like it, watch movies, pseudo-depressed-but-really-more-self-obsessed, what-the-fuck-is-up-with-my-life? mode.

This is not something BT has ever been before. Multiple hours were spent in therapy discussing why I haven't indulged in this mode in the past, how it is healthy, what's been stopping me, why it's uncomfortable but necessary at this point in my life, yadda-yadda-yadda.

At dinner the other day, an acquaintance (wife of one of E's friends) was taken aback when I explained that, no, I wasn't working, and the reasons why (kind of had a little break down, needed some time to reevaluate my life priorities, etc.). I, after hours of reading self-help books, crying, watching sad movies about people who've been through much worse and suffered much more, didn't think much of my revelation. She, however, responded, "Oh, BT, I'm sure you're exaggerating. I can't even imagine you being remotely out of control, much less 1/4 of the mess you just described."

And there my friends, though I can't quite understand why or how, lies the rub.

So, now I'm back at work and back in the swing too. I LOVE IT. I really do. In addition to starting work, it was like this major ass-kicking energy hit the rest of me as well. I finally started doing the basic life stuff I haven't touched for lack of time or lack of motivation. I made a dentist appointment, found a new doctor, called on transferring my medical records (doctor that I love had the nerve to retire!), made an appointment to see new doctor, made an eye doctor appointment, booked flights for the holidays, planned our spring vacation and made plans to see people besides the friends that were willing to put up with me over lunch during my 3 weeks of self-indulgent lunches with friends.

All of a sudden, after starting work when I'm ready to do so, I feel so alive, so full of energy, so pulled in so many directions, so ready to prove my ability to cover so many foxholes, so, so, so, so....

But, according to E, I'm a little ADHD right now. Or maybe much more than a little, but he's from the South, and very polite, you see, so he'd never say exactly how much more than a little the lot truly is. But me, I'm from California, and right now, I can't follow a conversation long enough to do calendar for the both of us the week (while looking at the damn calendar, mind you!). That shit pisses me off but also amuses me. I'd prescribe myself some medication if I was my parent right now. Gotta check out this link, think about this thing, discuss this other thing, yadda-yadda-yadda.

Because I'm an adult and not on ritalin, I get to observe this sub-mania. It's weird. I think I must have always operated at this level of high-strung. Returning to this energy level feels very comfortable. And yet, after the self-imposed slow down, I'm having trouble with something. Perhaps it's just a bit too much? Maybe this is my new self's way of saying hey, BT, watch it. Slow down. Just a bit. Your previous ridiculousness is most likely not sustainable even if you felt like a superstar while pulling it off in the past.

Moderation? Anyone?

Of course, then I think of the famous quote, "All things in moderation. Especially moderation." And, I should look that up...who said that? I bet I'd like to read their writings....

October 24, 2006

Savory Excess

Note 1: They should sell horseradish in smaller quantities. I bought the smallest one at my local store and took home a root 10 inches long ranging from 1 to 2.5 inches in diameter. It was sufficient to prepare 1/2 cup horseradish cream PLUS 3-4 cups of packed horseradish in vinegar.

Note 2: If you grate horseradish by hand, you cry. Also, it takes a very long time.

Note 3: Instead of crying, you can split the horseradish into strips and use the cuisinart's grating attachment, which does not take much time at all.

Calling for recipes! Other than the roasted squash soup with horseradish cream that I'm making this evening, the remaining 3-4 cups of horseradish are up for grabs. Sure, some of it will be great when I puree it with cream or butter for a meat accoutrement. But the rest? Please don't leave me to my own devices here, people. It won't be pretty.

October 23, 2006

Take 2

This time was much better.

I am ready to work. I am excited to be at a law firm. I can't wait to be assigned to projects and I enjoyed the conversations I had with my colleagues.

Glad I did what I needed to do.
In hindsight

E and I agreed. Last night's dinner of israeli couscous (saffron, chicken broth, scallions & pine nuts in the couscous) topped with a sauce of onion that made me cry, garlic, basil, thyme and plum tomatoes was delicious and healthy.

Unfortunately, I now have saffron stains under some of my fingernails. Those suckers aren't coming out any time soon. I discovered the stains when I realized I had that onion/garlic smell coming out of my skin, including my fingernails.

I'm post-shower and sonicare, on my way to my first real day as a new associate. I still smell and my fingernails look like they are growing a yellow/orange experiment.


October 22, 2006


I'm generally a lover of savory cooking. Herbs, spices, anything with garlic or onions, chiles, etc.

But, part of the whole put my life on hold adventure has been learning to accept and embrace the parts of me that I have been ignoring.

I already figured out that I was an unbalanced chef this summer and did my best to bake desserts while studying for the bar. But I never fully embraced the decadence of chocolate.

Things are about to change, my friends.

At the Bookstore, I was seduced by a magazine. The cover? Square white ramekins of dark chocolate souffle cakes filled with chocolate espresso sauce being presented to the viewer, broken, with a bit on a spoon. Inside is nothing but pictures and chocolate recipes: breakfast, cookies, cakes, brownies, mousses, sauces and more. I now own this lurid magazine. It almost feels dirty to page through it.

Last week, while at lunch with H at A.G. Ferrari I picked up about $70 worth of Italian imported happiness. On a lark, I bought a bar of 70% cacao from Baratti & Milano.

Finally, thanks to Wintermute, after my last lunch with a friend during my weeks of unemployment, I stopped in at Scharffen Berger. Thirty-two dollars later...

So, our fridge now contains $32.00 $31.00 of Scharffen Berger (I already demolished the 1 oz. nibby bar, but it wasn't for baking anyways. Those bean bits would be hell to deal with in a recipe, right?), some Guittard baking chips leftover from the summer's baking and a bar of Baratti & Milano.

Also, for those who love to read about food, I just finished Julie & Julia. No real chocolate porn to speak of. But, I still enjoyed it for the savory food porn, and would recommend it for the solid literary stuff it can offer to anyone who likes to read about the role of cooking food in a slightly unstable woman's life and how being stuck in one place in your life can lead you to find a release and somewhere to grow elsewhere. Plus, it's irreverant as hell and hilarious.

But then again, I just went through my own sort of wacky breakdown and I'm prone to taking on projects that are too big to prove to myself that I can do them and make myself grow in the process. I wish I was more irreverant and tad more unstable in my day-to-day life. You may find that her blog is more entertaining and more focused on things that interest you (each individual recipe from Julia Child's Mastering the Art of French Cooking). I wasn't a reader back when Julie was floundering her way through the project. Perhaps someday I'll go read the blog from start to finish. But for now, the book was perfect for my needs: hilarious, informative, and a very honest portrayal of someone crazy enough to take on a silly but wonderfully larger-than-life food project.

So, In the spirit of Julie and Julia tempered by the reality of starting work as a new associate on monday, my mini project is to simply use the chocolate in the fridge to make 6 chocoriffic recipes from the magazine by Thanksgiving. Stay tuned.

October 19, 2006

Celebrate good times... (come on!)

Starting October 18th, I get to sleep at home in my own bed with my husband for an entire month straight. Exactly one month, mind you. We've got somewhere else to be on 11/18, but for the next 30 days we are here. We can try and compare the local barbacoa joint, the local valley folklore joint, and the local diner for weekend breakfast/brunch. We can meet up with local friends for meals that have been in the works for months, if not years. We can eat home-cooked meals made of local ingredients from the weekend farmer's market, freezer stash that's been on the list to prepare for quite some time, and little accents from the local snotty gourmet store. I'm ecstatic.

I announced this over dinner, of which I was quite proud. In celebration of my last worknight without a job or plans to go out, I prepared a bacon-browned, quartered cornish game hen, roasted over herbed sauerkraut in wine with a side of green beans (cooked in bacon grease, onions and garlic).

Between bites and happy noises of culinary delight, E was quick to point out that it was not like a month at home was a return to normalcy. Rather, he pointed out, it was a rarity to be cherished and celebrated (preferably with more good food!).

Because I'm a data fiend, I have records, and I checked. Sure enough, the last time I had 4 weeks at home without a night away was June of 2005 (16 months ago). Before that was November 2004 and before that was (forgot about thanksgiving) February 2004. 2004, aka 1L, was quite the year of domestic tranquility, it would appear.

Here's to hoping that the return to work brings similar tranquility to the return to school in 2004. I think we've both earned it.
Good Genes

All I'm saying is that when I'm 80, I want:

To have more than 100 people show up for my birthday party.

To select a cake that is ridiculous (equal parts white cake and whipped cream frosting, topped with toffee, anyone?). Each time I pass the cake at the party before the birthday song, I want to unabashedly take some of the topping and pop it in my mouth. I hope I'm healthy enough to have real sugar in my birthday cake (gran's cake could have given someone a case of diabetes, there was SO MUCH TOFFEE!)

To go to the casino with all of my kids and grandkids who enjoy gambling (that would be one aunt and me) and spend a full day at the slots and the tables. I want to have a hilarious system governed by superstition that involves telling my relatives where and what they must play to ensure that I receive optimum luck. I want to insist on paying for the all-you-can-eat buffet. I want to be the last one gambling when all of the young folks are worn out.

When we get home from the casino, I want to be tucked in bed for a nap that I won't take. Instead, I'll watch TV. The young folks can go pick up my dinner of choice (Round Table Garlic Lover's Pizza, in this case).

For dinner, I want to pair my selection with champagne and I want to enjoy 2 full glasses.

When I finally go to sleep, I want it to be after speaking with all of my children on the phone or in person and telling them what a great day I had.

Finally, at 1:30 in the morning after my full day of celebration, I want to wake up and insist that I want more birthday cake and champagne. I can only hope that I'll have children or grandchildren who will indulge me so we can spend just a little more time together before they leave.

October 16, 2006

Books That Heal

Part of the funk that I have been in these last few weeks stems from the fact that I never properly grieved for my father. I dealt with the details and I accepted the condolences but I never faced the deep pain of the loss. I thought I did. I cried a little bit each day. In Hawaii, I'd cry a few minutes by myself on my runs along the beach. But I never let myself cry for hours at a time for days in succession. Instead, I tried to go back to work. Yeah, that didn't go so well.

When I realized I needed to grieve, I turned to my favorite helpers: books. First, I went to the local library and cried while perusing the section on death and bereavement. There really aren't that many books in this section, which surprised me. Many of them were the "First do this. Then do this." style of self-help, which I don't handle well. I don't like anyone to tell me what to do, not even a book I can put down whenever I feel like it.

So, I took I'd Rather Laugh and Chicken Soup for the Grieving Soul. I figured I'd pick up a few other books from the store when I needed 'em.

I'd Rather Laugh was a perfect introduction to the journey. I laughed and cried my way through it and took Linda Richman's story of survival to heart. We all get through the crap of life one way or another, it's just a question of how well.

Chicken Soup for the Grieving Soul is a collection of short stories about grieving, loss, and recovery. I found it a bit sappy, but I think I needed the sappiness to help me maintain my sense of distance from the full pain of my loss. Even with the disdain I felt for some of the overly simplified stories I repeatedly found myself in tears and addressed aspects of missing my father that I wouldn't have realized without the book. I bet there's a better option out there, but in a pinch, if you just need vignettes to make you focus and grieve, this will do.

A friend recommended The Year of Magical Thinking. Much like I'd Rather Laugh, this is a very personal story of loss. Joan Didion lost her daughter and her husband in the same year. She was a journalist for years and I found that her writing was the most precise of all of the books in terms of explaining just how confusing and painful and crazy a human can feel while facing huge loss. I felt less alone while reading her book. It was perfect as the third option because I was ready to read about and face the full extent of my pain. It was a pleasure and an honor to do so alongside Ms. Didion, whose loss was different, but equally heartfelt.

Finally, on a lark, I picked up Kitchen Table Wisdom from the 3-for-2 table at Borders along with some sillier lighter pleasure books. Ms. Remen is an oncologist, a cancer and death counselor, and a 30-year sufferor of Crohn's disease. This book is a collection of stories about healing, facing death, the medical profession, judgment of the self and others, the life force, awe, mystery, spirituality, and more.

Daddy died of cancer. He experienced many of the symptoms and situations that the stories in this book address. His death also included some mystery and awe that made it beautiful. I refused to try to explain that beauty away with science, so it was wonderful to read about the common mystery of others in similar situations. Also, I needed to re-embrace the idea of the life force, spirtuality, and awe. What I really needed to do, however, was read stories about judgment and do some serious thinking about how judgmental I often am, both of myself and others. Judgment and expectations are a very strong force in our lives and I have been in the habit of applying them on autopilot. Daddy's death is not an autopilot situation. I've never been through this before. Come to think of it, I've never been through most of the stuff in my life before. Kitchen Table Wisdom helped me to recognize that letting go of my deep sorrow and moving through it was actually a way to embrace it. Along the same lines, the stories encouraged me to let go of much and relax to allow myself to change. I've studied the principles in this book in much of my Buddhist reading. But I found myself understanding the concepts at a new level while reading this book. It was profound, healing, and wonderful.

I'm very thankful that I took the time to read and be sad. I feel much more whole.

October 15, 2006

The Other Side

I'm a list-maker. A balancer of pros and cons. A calculater. A scheduler. A contingency planner.

So, I was quite surprised when my gut felt the need to jump up and take action that affected my life without my calculated decision.

Since then, I followed through. I took the action my gut knew was best even before I'd done all the sorting and math. Eventually, I am certain that I will be happy with this choice. But right now, I'm just relieved.

My gut knew something that the part of me I'd learned to trust and depend upon didn't. It was a very weird experience and, to be honest, one that really has made me reconsider my life. I'm in a serious state of re-evaluation right now.

How many other things have I been ignoring that could be offering me useful wisdom? Only time will tell.

October 14, 2006

Pleasant Surprise

Brother, sister and niece sat in traffic today to come stay the night before we drive the rest of the long drive to gran's 80th birthday. I wanted to take them out to dinner to celebrate time in my town (since ordinarily, we meet up in theirs) and my trueness to myself in my job situation. I decided that with a 4-year-old, the perfect option was Benihana.

Mind you. This is not a food destination I would have chosen without a 4-year-old in tow. But, after tonight, with the great benihana chef luck falling in our direction, I will admit that I may have been wrong. There are times, even without a 4-year-old, that Benihana may not be a bad option to consider.

My sister ordered the salmon. It was steamed in a parchment calzone-of-sorts and surpised us all by arriving with vegetables perfectly tender, delicious, and wonderful.

I ordered calamari, which was, to be honest, the second best calamari steak preparation I've ever had, second only to my very own well-researched chili-lime preparation of the baja calamari that dad caught.

Brother had the chateaubriand and it was tender as all get out. E had the Deluxe offering of lobster tail and filet mignon. The cut of filet left a bit to be desired but the lobster tail was amazing -- they have the whole garlic butter thing on lock.

My niece had the child's menu of chicken and shrimp, it was delicious and she was totally happy.

Oh, and the whole reason we went? The server was hilarious. His trickery was top notch. Many hat tricks. Many pocket tricks. Knife tricks. Onion volcanoes. We clapped. We laughed. He made us laugh with comedic jokes (clearly, we got one of the better chefs available, his name was Benito, and yes, he was very hard-core on the Mexican angle speaking 1/8 spanish despite his perfect English. Somehow, it made the meal more enjoyable, especially because niece likes to practice her Spanish.)

All in all, I expected to be mildly entertained but happy that my niece was happy. I left surprised at the quality of several of the offerings (the salmon, the calamari, the lobster and the chateaubriand) and pleased by the price tag. I dare you to find a $175 meal for 5 in the bay area that contains food that is better than the reviews make it seem plus laughs, smiles, clapping galore, and a happy and entertained 4 year old for the entire meal. Plus, the gratuitous ice cream. How can you argue? (Note: for politesse sake, put the kid in the middle of your group and insulate the poor couple who's at your hibachi on a date. Sure, you wouldn't come here on a date and glare at kids at your table, and they didn't either, but still...)

In short, color me a very surprised and content food snob. Benihana was good. Well I'll be...

October 13, 2006

Day of Decadence

Even though I've been off work, I've had chores to do every day. Mostly stuff for the estate, but some work maintenance stuff (hr forms, calls, etc.), some catching up with friends after driving to lunch.

Last night, I returned from a two-day trip to my hometown to see my brother, sister and niece as well as take care of estate stuff. Tomorrow, after brother, sister and niece arrive, we all drive to grandma's for her 80th birthday party this weekend.

But today... Today I have to do NOTHING. If I can find the motivation, I'll probably fit in some more sleep, some yoga, maybe a quick run, and the stylish costume drama that E wasn't too excited to see arrive from Netflix.

October 10, 2006

New Shit Has Come To Light

Look, man, I've got certain information, all right? Certain things have come to light. And, you know, has it ever occurred to you, that, instead of, uh, you know, running around, uh, uh, blaming me, you know, given the nature of all this new shit, you know, I-I-I-I... this could be a-a-a-a lot more, uh, uh, uh, uh, uh, uh, complex, I mean, it's not just, it might not be just such a simple... uh, you know?

--The Dude

Numismatics is a word I've never heard or seen before today. But Daddy left us some old coins, and as executor, I've got to go get 'em valued for the estate. I'm guessing most of 'em will be worth approximately 3% more than face value, but it's a fun little adventure nonetheless. I bought the blue book and am sorting through the collection. I doubt there will be anything amazing, but the history and the monotony of sorting are balm to my soul.

You don't go out and make a living dressed like that in the middle of a weekday.

Okay, you got me, I'm more or less unemployed at the moment. I didn't announce my self-imposed unpaid leave from work when I took it, but I figure my posting should clue you in. I'm not exactly living the life of a new associate.

I needed more time to mourn. I needed more time to sort out my priorities so that I could commit myself to the practice of law at the level that my job will require. I needed more time to handle the details of my dad's estate. I just needed more time. I tried to ignore this reality by sticking to the timeline I set back in August and more or less had a miniature breakdown when I arrived to find that (*gasp*) things had actually *changed* at the firm between when I accepted their offer and when I started.

I paid attention to that warning sign -- I should have been able to handle the changes. When I realized that I wasn't dealing rationally with them, I made the difficult decision to walk into my supervising partner's office after 1 week of work to ask for some time off.

It's my life. And I needed to recover from it. I wasn't ready to do good work and I owe it to myself to do good work. I also owe it to those for whom I work. Thankfully, they understood, because I was ready to quit if they didn't.

It turns out, at least some law firms are staffed by attorneys that are human. Everyone I spoke with at the firm recognized that I'd been through quite a bit in the last year and they appreciated my honesty with myself and them about my capacity to do quality work. They all supported my decision.

So here I am. Unemployed, more or less. Taking time to heal even though it's not the best thing for my career. I'm okay with the fact that I'm the one that stopped showing up at the firm after orientation week. Let 'em say what they are gonna say. I know why I'm here.

I stay home. I read books on mourning on the couch in my pajamas. I cry. I go to lunch with friends. I work out. I cook. Each day, I handle a few details of the estate and the load gets lighter. Finally, 2 months after my father's death, I'm taking time to take care of myself emotionally.

As someone who never put much stock in emotional intelligence, I'm amazed at how much I needed this. It took a breakdown to get me to do this. How smart my emotions were to force my hand. I can only imagine what I'd be like if they hadn't.

So, yeah. Numismatics & Recognizing that my gut may know a thing or two that my logic can't figure out...

Well, okay, you're not privy to all the new shit, so uh, you know, but that's what you pay me for.
Embrace the Happy

Things are looking up for BT. The career bumbs in the road are smaller than expected. Dinner was a delicious and improved by improvisation red lentil, tomato, vinegar soup with accompanying herb-roasted potatoes. Man I love having time to cook.

And, bonus:

Shaun of the Dead was not as zombie-state-inducing as expected.

I actually enjoyed it.

I think it might have had something to do with the general stress relief associated with knowing what the hell is going on in an least one aspect of my life.

October 9, 2006


I've made motions to make some major changes in my life. Plus the bar results could work some additional major changes if they were ugly.

So, I must wait. I'm not a very patient person. Must be time to do some baking.

October 8, 2006

Spicy Risotto-Like Heaven

This, a last-minute concoction from things in the fridge and pantry after a weekend away, was homey and delicious. Enjoy:

1 cup starchy white rice (arborio, or, in a pinch, sushi rice)
Olive Oil for cooking (exactly how good this oil needs to be is a personal call and a much longer blog entry...)
1/4 large yellow onion, diced
4 cloves garlic, diced
1 plastic container of mexican hot salsa left over from Friday's takeout
1 can chicken broth + water as needed
2 Tablespoons habanero pickled salsa from a friend with a talent for preserves
1/2 cup chopped 6 month aged cow cheese from the farmer's market
Parmigiano, for grating
black pepper

1. Sautee onions and garlic in olive oil until onions are partially clear. Add rice and stir until rice is fully covered and slightly translucent.
2. Add broth, bring to a low simmer, stir and let evaporate slowly 'til rice is al dente. Add water if necessary.
3. When broth is almost all evaporated, add salsas and stir.
4. When the liquid is almost entirely evaporated, add the cow's milk cheese and stir until melted and mixed throughout.
5. Remove from heat and let set for 5 minutes. Serve with grated parmigiano on top along with a sprinkling of black pepper.

I'm toying with turning this blog into solely a food blog. Or perhaps a food & running blog.

My personal life is, well, overly personal and introspective as of late (read: not very interesting to anyone except me). My professional life, is, well, too professional to be available for the entertainment of the anonymous masses. And, to be frank, the remainder of my life isn't very ink-worthy. I'd love to keep up on legal or technical or even silicon valley trends. But, let's be honest, in any of those categories, I'll be lucky to find time to do the reading of people who do the aggregation of info for me.

But Food! Ahhh... I could write for hours and hours about food. Conveniently, my title lends itself to an oral fixation of some sort, so it wouldn't be that difficult of a transition. So, 'til I decide what to do, I'll try to post more and more of my foody thoughts/experiences and see how that treats me. I welcome your comments.

October 5, 2006


I took all the change we found in my dad's house to the bank to deposit it into the estate account. I figured they'd have some sort of machine or something. Nope.

We only accept rolled coins.

So, in case you were wondering, it takes approximately 1 hour to roll $60.92 worth of coins if there is $6.00+ in pennies.

Oddly, I found it comforting to sit there and smile at the folks who took their seats in the lobby and waited to be called to the bankers. I sat through at least 6 customers and found myself enjoying the slow methodical use of my time.

Also, I had a hilarious thought. I tried to imagine the treatment I would have gotten if I had enough paper money that it took me an hour to lay it out in piles, sort it, and count it. You know, in the lobby of the bank. On the coffee table. Imagine!

Instead of the chaos from greenbacks, my piles of silver and copper brought inquisitive smiles and a few fun conversations with people who wondered where I got all the change. It was pleasant. I think Dad would have liked that I stayed there to do it and made the small talk.

October 3, 2006

I don't know where I'm going... but I sure know where I've been

Little Hint:

If you incorrectly address a postcard by putting the recipient's name and address on the top and your return address on the bottom, you can't just write TO: and FROM: in front of the addresses and underline them.

If you do, you will receive your own postmarked postcards one to two days after you mail them.

October 2, 2006

Good Grief

I'm a bit of a mess right now. It was bound to happen, I suppose. Nice timing, though, huh? Right as I start work as an associate. Awesome.

Anyways, I'm engaging in some bibliotherapy and found I'd rather laugh by Linda Richman to be a good use of time.

I laughed. I cried. Literally, while reading. And I do feel a little better.

Baby Steps, I suppose.

I have a cold that turned into a deep-chested cough. I also have racing thoughts and nightmares. They combined forces to become insomnia. At least I'm finally updating my online photo albums.

October 1, 2006


Autumn is always a mixed bag for me. I feel cheated by the cold air and white cover. After summer, I need blue skies and sun to be happy, or, at least, I need to ease out of my sunshine addiction and fall is never good about politely laying off. But then, there's the food! The tomatoes, so many squash and so little time! The return to cooking warm comfort food is one of my favorite events of the year.

For the last several years, I've made it a habit of getting fat and happy over the summer (I blame BBQ season). You'd think that when autumn arrives, bringing chilly weather, bulkier clothes, and an excuse to make rich warm dishes, the trend would continue until spring.

But fall also tends to brings other things. It also brings the ripeness of the healthier food, the beginning of soup season, and, for me, it seems to always bring stress due to the beginning of something new in my life. So, despite my love for autumn food, I generally lose the summer padding while coping with the inevitable newness and weather of October.

In October of 2000, I started dating E which was wonderful and scary and exciting at the same time. In October of 2001, I decided to take the LSAT and go to law school. In 2002, it was October when I began the house hunt with E that eventually resulted in us becoming co-home-owners. In 2003, it was October when the reality of 1L hit me and I fully understood the impact of my decision to go to law school. In 2004, it was October when I stretched myself to the extreme with a full load of classes, OCI, journal, and a moot court competition in another state. In 2005, it was October when I struggled and finally made a decision about my future as a lawyer.

And here I am again. October 2006. The blues. Depression and the reality of my father's death are finally with me. I kept them at bay by keeping busy until I started work. But with the reality of work came many surprises, and now the sunny weather is gone. So, in keeping with the October theme, I'm in a new spot yet again: new career, and new emotions of loss. The sky looks like it wants to rain today, and I can relate because I am busy, overwhelmed, and sad.

So, to stave off the bad part of October, I went to the farmer's market this morning. I hadn't been in at least 9 months and didn't know it had been moved down the street. I almost cried when I drove by the parking lot where it used to be and saw only cars. With the help of the signs, I found the market and was delighted to find it bigger and better than before. I smiled and made a goofy grin as I walked amongst the gorgeous potatoes, roots, and roughage. I was saddened that there is not enough time to cook with all the wonderful foods that I saw before they will be out of season.

I bought butternut squash, 7 breeds of heirloom tomatoes, italian broccoli, and gorgeous flowers. And my simple visit to the market did the trick. I came home happy, thankful for good food and ready to face this week of October, which, no doubt will be difficult. Thank goodness for fall harvest and the healing power of soup.