Saturday, June 25, 2011

Stuff to Do When You Discover that you just don't give a shit.

Several times a day, for the last week or two, my husband has gazed over at me and said "You okay? How're ya doing? Okay?"

It only took about 10 days for me to notice this - that this was happening repeatedly, and that it might mean something.

I tried to answer him this morning.

"How ya doin', sweetie? You okay?"
"Tell me why you're asking. Do I seem other than okay?"
"Yeah, you seem kind of...angry or something."

Well, that's just silly. When I'm angry, there can be no question. There's no "seem"-ing. Everyone knows.

But I took a second to think about it, and I started to say:
"I don't know, I've been feeling kind of..."

and then Ian broke into a spontaneous dissertation on the powers of various Mario characters. And I shot myself in the head. With my finger, but still.

Eric nudged me back on topic. "You've been feeling...what?"

"Oh, I don't know. Maybe feeling disconnected? Like nothing has very much to do with me."

This is potentially quite bad, since I have a job, a marriage and a kid that have very, very much to do with me, in which I need to remain deeply interested and intimately involved.

I may be having a little depression flare-up. I had one last summer, and I didn't recognize it, because I had never in my life been a LITTLE depressed.

So all day, I've been making a list, which I will now share with the internet:

Things to do When You Discover You Just Don't Give A Shit

1. Clean the kitchen. Nothing is fun or interesting anyway, might as well do those things that everything is normally more interesting than. Put away the laundry. Empty the dishwasher.

2. Gather all your clarity and focus and think back about what balls you might have dropped at work in the last 2 weeks. Go over your emails. Immediately reply to those ones you 'forgot'. Go over your calendar for next week. Perhaps make a more detailed 'to-do' list than usual.

3. Do not go bathing suit shopping. I really, really need a second, and, should I find one, a third swimsuit, since we go to the pool every afternoon and my one suit is aging ungracefully. Of course, the price of a decent suit is coronary-inducing, and of course the affordable suits at WalMart are no match for my pulchritude.

If by any chance you are in the market for an expensive but excellently-made and long-wearing plus-sized bathing suit, I totally recommend Junonia, which has great merchandise and great service. With God as my witness, I'm getting my surfing wet suit day.

Anyway, I love shopping, but I recommend steering away from stores on that first day that you discover that you don't give a shit. Whatever size you are, it's wrong, and nothing looks good, and the merchandise is all ugly and shopworn. Don't do it.

4. Declare a moratorium on whatever the Endless Conversation is in your house. Whether you go in endless circles about Pros and Cons of Growing my Beard In or What Color to Paint the Bathroom, Volume 9000, or The Car Made a Weird Noise or Is Yoshi a Turtle, No He's a Dinosaur, No He's a Frog, blah blah blah blah BANG. We get 24 hours off from that. And if someone forgets, and brings it up, the clock starts over. Sorry. I don't make the rules. Oh, that's right, I do. Well, sorry.

4. Play cards with your kid. It's low-impact. And he'll lose interest before long.

5. Grocery shopping is okay. It might spark your interest. Not staple foods, though. Make someone else go for those. I went to the Indian grocery for chutney. They had 20 kinds!

6. Knitting is kind of boring, but getting something finished feels good. Make things in sprints.


8. Get enough sleep. Tranq up as necessary.

9. Speaking of - if you happen to be a walking pharmacy, er, prescription med user, you might think back over your week and take a look in your medicine cabinet. This is a bad time to miss doses. You think it doesn't matter - I always think it doesn't matter - but apparently it does.

10. Watch cartoons. Bob's Burgers and Regular Show are a good fit for mild depression, and the Amazing World of Gumball and Adventure Time are nice when you start to feel a little better.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Dinner Tonight: Summer Salad

It doesn't seem quite fair to post this recipe, as it requires advance prep - I made the garlic-infused oil last week for another dish, and I decided to cook the wheat berries this afternoon without knowing what I would do with them. Nonetheless, here what I did -

Cook some wheat berries. (The way to cook wheat berries is to combine 1 part wheat and 3.5 parts water in a pot, bring to a boil, cover, lower the heat and simmer for an hour. I cooked a cup, because that's what I had left in the bag in the freezer.) Let them cool.

Open one can of black-eyed peas. (Hum chorus of 'tonight's gonna be a good night' here.) Drain, rinse, empty into a huge bowl. I used Goya, 15.5 oz.

Chop into small chunks half a cucumber, half a red pepper, and half a yellow pepper. Core and squeeze the seeds and runny stuff out of 2 small tomatoes, and chop those also. Throw all that stuff in the bowl with the beans and grain.

Now it's flavoring time. Chop up about 2 tablespoons of something spicy. I had a new jar of hot gardeniara, which is pickled vegetables -green beans, okra, carrots, celery and peppers - in olive oil. (This product makes an annual appearance at our house on the Thanksgiving relish tray, along with the olives and pickled watermelon rind.) Fresh or pickled peppers or probably some hot sauce would also be good. You need to mince them up really small, though, so they get disbursed through the grain and beans. Throw that into the bowl.

Now give it a couple shakes of that cheap balsamic vinegar.

I was about to give it a tiny splash of olive oil, but then I remembered! A week ago, I had poured a small container of olive oil, and thrown in a whole lot of chopped garlic, basil leaves, rosemary needles, the end of a jar of capers, and some peppercorns. I had spilled about half of it, the day I made it, and had used a bit on pasta, but found it underwhelming. However, it was great today! I do believe I will be keeping a small jar of that brewing at all times.

So throw in a couple spoonfuls of that, making sure to scoop up some garlic and capers and leaves.

Toss, adjust seasonings. Some raw sweet onion would also be good, if you have some handy. It'll need flaky salt and fresh pepper.

We ate ours with crackers and sardines, as I was in a sardiney mood after listening to today's The Splendid Table.

Adorable knitted sardines via The Daily Green

Friday, June 10, 2011

Also this is quite delicious, a perfectly lovely blog
via Brady on Facebook.

The reason the internet was invented.

1. @PeanutTweeter
via my brother. Random (they're NOT random, they're the funniest tweets in existence) tweets placed in the mouths of Peanuts characters. Not all work safe. Luckily, my kid can not yet read much.

2. The Vintage Collective's flickr photostream.

HUNDREDS OF PAGES of old graphics - illustrations, monograms, esoteric symbols, dingbats, plus some great contemporary designs they inspired. Plus photoshop tutorials. Heraldry! Ships! Insects! Scientific implements

just all sorts of ridiculously cool stuff, and most of it is covered by Creative Commons. This is an amazing resource. It's the personal collection of a gent named K. Sandberg.