Sunday, April 19, 2009

Aloo Gobi Sunday

Aloo Gobi (Potato Cauliflower Curry) with Homemade Yogurt "Cheese" and Mango Pickle

I was inspired to have this today by a recent post by Stash regarding the glories of the potato.

This isn't a dish I eat very often, since I'm somewhat averse to cauliflower; among the few forms I enjoy it in are this curry and raw. I don't usually obsess over every gram of fat, but lately I find myself worrying just because there are a few extra inches that refuse to budge. This dinner could have been pretty low cal and low fat, but a dollop of ghee and a couple dollops of that whole-milk yogurt cheese just felt in order.

Touched your perfect body with their minds

Every day is a revelation, even in a small way. I discovered the above Leonard Cohen song -- and Nina Simone's version of it -- just today for the first time, thanks to Tom Schnabel's show on KCRW.

Anyone who knows me a little knows that I'm a fan of Nina Simone; they may not know how much her voice and her story break my heart just a little every time I hear one of her recordings.

I can't call myself a fan of Cohen because I really don't know enough of his music. A year or so ago I tried watching that recent documentary, I'm Your Man, but frankly was so disinterested after thirty or forty minutes that I turned it off. It also didn't help that Nick Cave's singing completely got on my nerves, and I'm not enough of a fan of any of the Wainwrights to be riveted by them either. I may need to try just listening to some of Cohen's original material.

Certain readers may be tired of the triteness of it, but I do admit to loving Jeff Buckley's version of Hallelujah, which I was only introduced to via the recent German film Die fetten Jahre sind vorbei (The Edukators), which I liked quite a lot.

And she shows you where to look
Among the garbage and the flowers
There are heroes in the seaweed
There are children in the morning
They are leaning out for love
And they will lean that way forever
While Suzanne holds the mirror
And you want to travel with her
And you want to travel blind
And you know that you can trust her
For she's touched your perfect body with her mind

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Mercury! Venus! Jupiter! Saturn! Mars!

With credit to Junk Thief for making me think of these kawaii punk girls.

Let's Knife is a CD worth owning, or at the very least several songs are worth downloading.

A reminder of fun, perhaps more innocent times in UCSB student apartments, circa 1993.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Al borde de un ataque de nervios

That's the way things went tonight
Tossed and turned though you were tight
Exhaustion brings on desperation
Well there's still some consolation...
I've been awake since getting up to go to the bathroom at 3:30. It's now a little past 5:30.

Sometimes I think I'm going nuts. But I think anyone reading this has heard this story before.

It's getting to the point where I vacillate between a quiet, impotent rage and the brink of utter depression.

My job situation and relationships with the heads of my office have totally broken down and left me feeling... well, broken down. I'm stuck in this limbo, being transferred to another unit more or less against my will, thus not included in any of the shared decision-making anymore, and completely (or so it feels to me) frozen out. In their minds, I'm probably already gone, so they figure why bother.

All this seems petty, as almost every workplace "issue" tends to seem. And it is petty. And workplace issues in general are petty. But it's gotten to the point where it's affected my ability to view myself as a capable person with valuable contributions to make. Not that it's all about me -- the special, unique snowflake -- but it's not news that the workplace often contributes immensely to one's self image.

I don't know exactly when it happened, but I went from a position in life where I felt that I had something to offer to this current state: one in which I am constantly questioning whether I have anything to offer. While in some sense that's hyperbole (I haven't lost all shreds of confidence and self worth), it really is the distillation of my current problems.

So, to be totally frank, how the fuck is this Stella supposed to Get Her Groove Back and once again feel like the valuable, talented, interesting, loveable, attractive, kickass member of society that she was, is, and will be again?

To quote a former group therapy facilitator, I guess "more will be revealed."

In the meantime, I think I will read Cheri Huber... again. (And I noted with a chuckle that she has a title that I hadn't seen before, called When You're Falling, Dive -- maybe seeing that title was today's mini-lesson.)


And if things weren't bad enough, my kitchen is crawling with mice rats! At least a few, but probably no more than two at a time.

They're "only" about three inches long (not including tail), but I had fooled myself the first night I saw them into thinking they were "large mice." Now, I am creeped out beyond all creepouts and spent time yesterday cleaning rat dung out from between my newly-organized jars-o-stuff on the countertop.

The exterminator comes today. I hate the fact that some killing will most likely end up being involved. I bought a live trap last week but los ratónes are too smart for that trick. So I will let the "pest control" do whatever he does; I can't exactly insist that the property management company contract with a PETA-approved vendor. However, I draw the line at glue boards; whoever invented those was a complete sadist.

One final thought (something that ran through my head around 4:20am or so...): it is kind of amazing when you think of the types of vermin that man has had to live with for most of human history. I mean the part that's amazing is that we've managed to "eradicate" much of our exposure to that anymore. It's a development I am fond of, and not dealing with plagues and infestations of Biblical proportions is perhaps another small daily gratitude to meditate on.

Monday, April 06, 2009

No me quieres ya y siempre estaré...

"Not wandering in the world of desire is another way of describing cool loneliness. Wandering in the world of desire involves looking for alternatives, seeking something to comfort us—food, drink, people. The word desire encompasses that addiction quality, the way we grab for something because we want to find a way to make things okay. That quality comes from never having grown up. We still want to go home and be able to open the refrigerator and find it full of our favorite goodies; when the going gets tough, we want to yell 'Mom!' But what we're doing as we progress along the path is leaving home and becoming homeless. Not wandering in the world of desire is about relating directly with how things are. Loneliness is not a problem. Loneliness is nothing to be solved. The same is true for any other experience we might have."
       ~Pema Chödrön

Wednesday, April 01, 2009

Going Straight to Hell, Carrying Lifetimes of Bad Karma

I know, I know, I shouldn't be griping to you, or to anyone, but I need to share.

So, I'm signed up on one of those HIV-positive dating sites, and every now and again there's someone within a 60-mile radius of this fabulous resort burg in which I live.


Can I really see myself going on a date someone with a hairdo like the above, with mutton-choppish sideburns, and who spells a very common (and perfectly fine) name unconventionally (i.e., with superfluous, silent letters)? The answer is no.

Then again, he lists his fave TV as BBC and music as B-52s (and country?), so some of you might want to consider relocating and setting up a happy home in Ventura.

And yes, for wantonly slinging this kind of snark I most definitely DO deserve to be single for the rest of my life.

God is not smiling.

On second thought, I think He is ROFL. (Yes, at me, not with me.)