I'm going to be brief today, but I want to give a big nod to the history we've made in the past few weeks here in the US of A. Healthcare and marriage for everyone! Punching it in with Cuba! BP has to eat it, big time! And a birthday! No, it hasn't all been positive. Some extraordinarily sad stuff has happened as well. But the optimist in me is hoping it all leads to a Greater Good. Movement forward. For the first time since I entered college, voted in my first presidential election and had my vote count (when Bill Clinton won his first term), I feel hopeful for, and a little proud, of my country. I feel like I'm a part of it; a rare emic approach to my United States. Doesn't it kind of feel like we're in the middle of a “Mercy Mercy Me” or “Turn! Turn! Turn!” video? Like, it's all happening. Now.
Man alive. Crack an egg on the blacktop because Summer is here, folks. This past week it's been far too hot – even with the air conditioning – to consider using the oven, also too hot to step out into the elements to grill. Plus, The Mosquitos are coming. Since my visual cooling aid, Game of Thrones (its Winter hath finally cometh), has wrapped things up for the year (RIP Jon Snow), I may very well have to seek out some Dr. Zhivago. All three and half hours of it.
I'm not complaining. Well, I am. But also, I'm not. I love Summer. I love all of my memories of Summers. But the thing is, those impressions I recall, when I really dissect them, were all before age twenty-five. Every damn one. The wistful recollections of cicada-filled dusks, leaping off twenty-foot high rocks into the river at night with reckless abandon, sitting out on my back deck in a tee shirt and cutoff shorts watching a thunderstorm, scampering around a field of grass at dusk trying to catch fireflies, camping with my friends in the woods, on the beach. I was wild and free. I know the smells, sounds and sights of those Summers like I know my own reflection.
The day after college graduation – the middle of the night, actually – my boyfriend and I packed up our dorm room, our then everything, loaded my car and drove to Atlanta to begin our adult lives together. We were a couple through most of college, lived in and backpacked throughout Mexico, traveled to Philadelphia to protest in support of Mumia Abu Jamal, to Cleveland to protest against the Contract With America, to anywhere we could see De La Soul, The Roots, Poor Righteous Teachers, and the like. We journeyed.
After about a year or so in Atlanta, we were pretty settled into our new post-college, kind of grown up lives. We lived in a sweet, little duplex, got a kitten we named Milo, and a plant or two. We had lots of good friends, and his family; a network. I worked in a so, so cool video store, and his DJing was picking up traction. We had the perfect, fun, action-packed and inspired early-twenties life.
I was recently in Chicago for a few days. My friend, Emma, was there for a business conference with her baby, Samuel, who happens to be precisely one week older than Emerson. Emma and I attended college together, which included a three-month 'co-op' in LA. She was a nanny in the Pacific Palisades. I, despite everyone's best efforts, could not get a paying job. So I crashed on the futon-couch-thing at Emma's friend's apartment in Brentwood – a stone's throw from where Nicole Brown Simpson had only just been murdered (the police tape was still up). I ended up working for free doing script coverages for Oliver Stone's production company, and was even an extra in Nixon. I played a sleeping hippie on the steps of the 'Lincoln Memorial' who was oh so rudely awakened when Nixon and whoever James Woods played walked past me. Regardless of being in so so shiny Heidi Fleiss-y LA in my early twenties, the intrigue of being in such close vicinity to the most humongous murder scene since Manson days and the seemingly cool Hollywoody-ness of the Oliver Stone/Nixon stuff, I was miserable. By the end of that Summer, I vowed never to return to the vapid cesspool commonly referred to as Los Angeles.
Beginning with my last trimester of pregnancy to just a few months ago (almost a year now), I have had a really hard time finding my written voice. What is usually cathartic, (en)lightening, and fluid has been an uphill - two miles each way, in the snow, barefoot – battle. As a result, there has been a glaring dearth of content and, worse, I feel like I haven't given you, or me, what we want to find or come away with here.
Emerson Rose is almost ten months-old. Just like that. Crawling, laughing, 'talking', responding, acting, reacting, selecting, loving and eating. This kid loves to eat. She's amazing. Almost as amazing: Spring has finally arrived - sunshine, warmth, green, flowers, short sleeves. As she was born late last Summer and spent her first few months being teeny tiny, and fragile indoors, Emerson has not yet been able to be IN the air. And what better a time for her to be with all this exploring and adventuring she's getting into. She squeals with delight swinging on the swing, is fascinated with the sandbox (and it's apparently very delicious sand), and the grass (with it's equally palatable dandelions), and is 100% happy on any and all walks in the stroller. And, man alive, this girl is head over heels for baths and swimming. We're even inflating the baby pool this week!
Valentine's Day has some significance for almost everyone. I know I have experienced practically every variation of this day of Cupid throughout my life. I can still remember running home from elementary school with my arms overflowing with those precious little cards with illustrations like squirrels saying, “I'm pining for you!,” signed by each kid in my class. And, of course, the little candy hearts with the text... 'Be Mine'.
My dad always tried to step up on Valentine's Day. One year, I was about thirteen, he gave me a red rose and a postcard with an image of The Beatles that read; 'Scooterhead, Happy V Day from the Fab Four! Love, Big D.' Oh, Daaaad... As an adult, there have been traditional romantic dinners and getaways with loved ones, the anti-Valentine's Days with friends, vodka and Absolutely Fabulous marathons, and just as significant, a year (maybe more than one) single and snuggled up tightly with my dog, Besito, watching An Affair to Remember (ok, The Notebook), with a bottle of Bordeaux and a box of chocolates (a pupcake for Besito). Sobbing. (Well, it is THE most romantic movie EVER.)
Two weeks of 'cleansing' has come to a triumphant conclusion. It hardly felt like a cleanse. I was never hungry and I never had any insurmountable cravings. I truly was sated. In fact, the portions were often so plentiful I couldn't finish some meals – even skipped some scheduled afternoon snacks and desserts. Which, I believe, makes up for the bit of cheating on the wine consumption. I didn't drink tons, but maintained a glass or two each evening. I cut myself some slack on that, especially considering I swapped morning coffee for tea. And I love, need, my morning coffee. These days, with the baby and not much sleep, I feel that I need coffee to make coffee. But no, it has been tea. With almond milk and occasionally agave nectar. Meh.
It's a new year. Happy New Year. I've never been one to make resolutions. I don't like to have hard and fast rules for myself. And yet I seem to constantly make hard and fast rules for myself. But never with food or wine; the ones that usually end up on a lot of people's resolution list. I did do that cleanse once...
But this year is a little different. Between the move, the pregnancy, the having of the baby, and the life of one who has a baby, I have not exercised much at all. I bought a bike a few days before I found out I was pregnant and I think I can count on one hand the number of times I've ridden it in over a year. And now it's Winter again. And though I eat well – fresh, local, organic - I haven't practiced a lot of control with portions and cravings. I've craved a lot of red meat. I've craved a lot of cake.
Oh, and in the middle of all of this I turned forty.
While I am patently aware of the dearth of new content on F for Food, it nonetheless hit me hard to receive an e-mail last week with an offer to buy the blog. Someone clearly took notice of the lack of activity and exhibited interest in taking it over and 're-aliving' it, so to speak.
Well folks, F for Food isn't for sale. Even though I have not been able to find the time to put the proverbial pen to paper consistently for over a year, I really, really plan to. I think about it all the time. Not only did this blog keep me relatively sane, relatively grounded, during some very bumpy periods for half of a decade in LA, but it has also been huge part of my identity, my creative outlet, my escape, my happiness and, now, my new career.