It’s crazy how quickly we forget that we share this world, that there are animals and trees and we just happen to be stronger (sometimes), or at least more intelligent, and have shoved both aside to make room for our buildings. Case in point: walking to the store this AM, I heard a strange sound and I immediately reached for my phone, like what is this strange sound my phone is making? It was not my phone, y’all. IT WAS A BIRD. AN ACTUAL ALIVE BIRD JUST MAKING ITS BIRD SOUNDS, and my mind did not even think to go there. Okay so: stronger, more intelligent, and narcissistic to the point of comedy.
Very pleased to announce that we have graduated from crappy, flammable Ikea furniture to sturdy, maybe slightly less flammable, moderately priced CB2 furniture. I am also proud to announce that the bookshelf contains a great many old issues of the Babysitter’s Club, and that Morrison plays video games on the TV. ARE WE GROWN UPS YET?
There are seriously not enough Thursdays in the world to Throwback to when it comes to our honeymoon, especially our time in Thailand. I just want to crawl back inside of its moments, float inside of them, gaze off into nothing.
I’ve been abandoning all extra-curricular creative responsibilities the last few days, and spending every waking non-work moment reading this dear lady’s book:
It’s part memoir, part cookbook, which is my new favorite kind of book. Vivian grew up in Deep Run, a one stoplight town in Eastern NC. Rejecting her country upbringing, she high-tailed it to NYC, started working in restaurants, and eventually moved back down south to open a restaurant (the now award-winning Chef and the Farmer in Kinston, NC / JULIEN AND I HAVE RESERVATIONS FOR JANUARY / OMG / oh PS also she has her own TV show A Chef’s Life, Peabody award winning, so maybe check that out too end of sentence no really, she’s great.) Once back home, she went through this beautiful transformation, embracing her and homeland and its foods. It’s a beautiful story that I hope it emulate with my own life and writing. You often don’t appreciate what formed you until you’re older. I just want to write NC plays and pair them with her regional bread puddings forever. Chapter by chapter, local food by local food (sweet corn, summer squash, butter beans, etc.) She takes us through her family’s rich history of farming, and shares family recipes. Here’s my favorite, Hoarded corn:
Hard to read, but the first ingredient is an afternoon. She recalls her family harvesting sweet corn together in their tiny kitchen, working together and quickly to get it off the stalk and into bags in the freezer before it spoiled, saving both the kernels and the sweet corn milk. This corn would them feed them throughout the year in a zillion different forms. She really hits this point home: families used to have to prepare their food together. They were forced to gather, to be together, out of necessity, but then, as Vivian also points out — this is the time when families used to talk to each other. Hands busy with activity, then talking, sharing to fill the air. I’m not saying anything that hasn’t been said 100 times before, but isn’t it sad that because our food became simpler, easier to access, we talk to each other less? That makes me sad. And Hungry. And sad. But flip side: because we spend less time preparing food, our hands and brains are free for innovations that save lives and expand the universe and invent customer care robots that will eventually dominate us A LA SPOILER ALERT SEASON FINALE OF WESTWORLD BUT NO EVERYTHING’S FINE OKAY BYE OFF TO PRETEND IT’S STILL 1943 / SHUCK SOME SWEET CORNS.
I was reading a short story before bed in which the writer described, in great detail, the feeling of Winter having left, Spring having not yet arrived. The whole world gray and melting and wet. And I realized it’s been years since I saw / felt that time of year, that weather moment. In LA, it’s pretty much the same, year round, except for the four days a year when it rains and people stay inside crying or ram their cars into each other. Reading about that weather time, I missed it. That wet air feeling. The thought of not having felt it in so long made me so sad. I want to find wherever it’s gray and wet and fly myself there and stand in the middle of it. Don’t rain and clouds unlock something inside of us, air out the sadness? Don’t they create a perfect backdrop for big and hard questions, deep thinking? And if we don’t live through them, do we miss out on this part of our thinking entirely?
You’re in Ojai for a conference. You’d like to stay in shape, but there are no gyms or spin studios or gym spin studios or studio spins in sight, because, well, Ojai. Ojai is your gym. Its hills are your elliptical. Stroll up them, casually contemplating big questions. Happen upon a local, who asks you if you’ve seen the bear. Stop strolling. What bear? Oh, apparently there’s been a bear in the area. You know, just like, a bear. Smile at the local. Turn around. RUN. RUN BACK DOWN THE HILL AS FAST AS YOU HUMANLY CAN AWAY FROM THE THE BEAR. CURL UP IN THE YOGA MAT IN YOUR TRUNK AND WEEP.
Ladies, eat what you want. Bread. Cakes. Houses. Entire Chickens. Chairs. As long as they are each the size of a fat tic tac, tiny you shall be, so small that you will take residence in a house the size of a book, where you will be the heroine, where you will charm the mice, defeat the dragonflies, sleep on pop tarts, your pillow a tiny loaf of bread.
If anyone is interested in grabbing Morrison and I a quick early wedding present — THE ACTUAL HOUSE FROM FATHER OF THE BRIDE IS NOW FOR SALE FOR ONLY 1.9999 MILLION DOLLARS. CONSIDERING HOW IT WOULD BRING ME A LIFE OF HAPPINESS PREVIOUSLY UNKNOWN TO ANY OTHER MORTAL IN THE HISTORY OF ALL OF THE HUMANS AND HOW MANY ADORABLE PICK-UP GAMES OF BASKETBALL WE WOULD PLAY IN COORDINATING FAMILY SWEATS, THIS IS ACTUALLY NOT ALL THAT EXPENSIVE.
When I start to want something, I start to see it everywhere, note its qualities. First it was boys and whether or not they were wearing wedding rings, then it was cars and whether or not they had leather interiors. Now that I have hit the jackpot in both Boy and Car, I WOULD PLEASE LIKE A HOUSE. And so I leer at them everywhere I go. I note their qualities. Whether or not there is a porch or front yard, whether there is garage space, what its down payment might be, if I could ever in a million years afford it, its window panes, its columns, its french doors and its trees. I dream about its kitchen. Does it have an island for cooking? IS THERE A FARMER’S SINK? IS THERE A WALK IN CLOSET THAT YOU CAN WALK INTO? IS IT SINGLE? WILL IT EVER BE MINE?
Yesterday, mid-blizzard, I had to get myself and luggage from the West Village to Midtown with no cabs / 2 feet of snow everywhere / snow banks high as four feet that are, shall we say, not conducive to rolley bags. It was a tiny adventure challenge, but a challenge adventure, nonetheless. Bro Dan offered to help but I refused it, because there is something psychotic in all of us who live or have lived in NYC: WE HEART THE STRUGGLE. It makes us feel strong and alive. I made my way up and down stairs and streets with the biggest stupidest grin on my face, remembering what is was like to have every day be an epic battle of sorts. I wonder if now, in LA, when I feel anxious and I don’t know why, I am sensing the lack of that struggle? Does the struggle keep us balanced?
No one blinked at the lunatic girl lugging her stuff uptown in a blizzard. Everyone was just like: Yep. Me too, you brave lunatic. Me too.