All we can do is keep breathing

December 25, 2007: The Itineraric Recap

7:30 a.m.: I wake up to the smell of… bacon? Eggs? Of food. Breakfast food. The non-vegetarian kid in me remembers the fulfilling joy of waking up to this smell, years and years and more years back. I’m tempted to wrangle myself out of bed for a second or two and fumble my way downstairs before I remember that this is one of the very few chances I get to sleep in. I burrow deeper under the covers and have zonked back out before I can even second-guess the decision.

12:30 p.m.: We have people over for Christmas lunch. I sneak into the bathroom so I can keep reading "Dry," because I have about 20 pages left and I am obsessed with reaching the ending. My absence is noted and I am called for with 15 pages remaining.

1:30 p.m.: Someone tells me, without precedent, that I have "exquisite eyes!" and the only way I know how to react is to stare at my feet and embarrassedly shuffle away after smiling awkwardly.

2:10 p.m.: I decide to wrap my Secret Santa gift in brown paper, which I will then draw on to look like a shipping crate, because boys don’t give a hoot about nice wrapping paper and I have a zillion huge paper grocery bags lying around.

2:20 p.m.: Two consecutive black markers run out of ink. I scrap the idea and start poking around for the most Christmas-y wrapping paper I can find, and a religious-y Christmas card to accompany the gift. Because my gift exchange recipient is a Jew. On the envelope, which happens to be pink, instead of his name, I draw a Star of David.

2:50 p.m.: I am parked outside of ChoHo– where our gift exchange is taking place– still trying to sneak in the ending of "Dry." With 10 pages to go, I am startled by what I read and begin tearing up. Notice the time, ditch the book, run inside.

3:30 p.m.: I become the first female whose heart sinks as she pulls the wrapping paper off an enormous box and sees the trademark Tiffany & Co. shade of blue. But then *opens* the box and soars beyond elation because inside! Is bubble wrap! And a copy of "Trepidation Nation"! And, to boot, a gift card to Borders!

And then that night, I met up with the J-team at GVR and we people-watched at Quinn’s (read: rated passing chicks using the zeros-and-ones system), and later the J-man and I saw "Sweeney Todd" at 10 p.m. and I was practically falling asleep for the first hour because I’d downed a vodka tonic earlier and I am apparently still a pretty cheap date. The first bloodletting woke me up, though. Pretty much goes without saying that I LOVED that movie.

I will live my life as a lobsterman’s wife

Things that make Whole Foods super crazy wonderful:

  • Reed’s Spiced Apple Brew: Amazing! Like liquid apple pie.
  • Endangered Species Smooth Organic Milk Chocolate With Lime: You can smell the lime as soon as you open the wrapper, and ES chocolate is consistently so smooth, though without being soft and melty.
  • Ridiculously huge apple fritters (bakery): The only apple fritters I have ever had that don’t give any indication of having been steeped in boiling grease (i.e., no gross oily aftertaste). And seriously: *ridiculously* huge.
  • Vegan curry chicken salad (deli): A meat-eater confessed that the only reason he *knew* the chicken wasn’t really chicken was because I had been eating it. Ha!
  • The cheese section: Oh. Cheese. Oh.

But: in general, Whole Foods tends to be something of a letdown, and an expensive letdown at that. Particularly in the deli section. Witness:

  • Risotto cakes (deil): I don’t like risotto, on the whole. So, go figure, on the whole, I don’t like risotto cakes. But even if I did like risotto, I don’t know that I still wouldn’t like these risotto cakes. I even tried smothering these in fabulous melted cheeses and all that did was waste cheese.
  • Chile cheese tamale (hot deli): Unimpressive, especially for the price. The masa wasn’t bad, but it also wasn’t great.
  • Sweet corn tamale (hot deli): Was initially floored by how much I loved it, until I realized
    I probably didn’t like the tamale itself nearly as much as I just did the fact
    that it had corn in it.
  • Potato/Sweet Noodle Kugels (deli): The sweet noodle one was so-so. The potato one was flavorful. Neither were worth buying again, and both had the additional misfortune of tasting vaguely like the cardboard boxes in which they were packaged.
  • Sweet potato latkes with almonds and currants (deli): The little flavor these things did have was not appealing on any level.
  • Creme Brulee French Toast (deli): Tasted suspiciously like the sweet noodle kugel. Including the weird hint of cardboard-box flavor.
  • The gelato bar: every sample I’ve ever had from multiple Whole Foods gelato bars has been… really chewy. Like, freezer-burn chewy. So, pretty gross.

Also– the last two times I drove to Whole Foods? Yeah. Drove there in a hybrid listening to indie acoustic. Way to be a stereotype!

And I don’t need anyone to cut my meat for me

I’m not tiny. You wouldn’t look at me, from any distance, and think, "Man, she’s *tiny*!" Short, yes. Small, maybe. But not "tiny."

That being said, you have no freaking idea how fabulous it is to have found thermals that fit in the girls section of the clothing department. Especially when the last four women’s departments visited were entirely sold out of sizes smaller than L.

Especially especially when girls’ thermals are half the price of adults’ (but with twice the cuteness!).

I watch the ships go sailing by

It’s true, what I wrote before: I don’t like Twinkies. I just don’t. I also don’t care much for Hostess chocolate cupcakes.

But! Marry the two? For a resulting chocolate-frosted golden cupcake (which is, really, the same batter used for a Twinkie and the cream filling is definitely the same)?

Man, I am all over that noise.

When will I feel all soft on the inside?

Some people seem so put off when they find out I don’t speak Japanese or Korean. Or Chinese, for that matter, ’cause not everyone bothers to ask, and, whatever, Asian’s Asian.

I try to explain, look, I’m fourth-generation, even my *grandparents* weren’t fluent in either– but it never makes a difference. Especially with men who used to be in the service and were stationed somewhere in Asia for x-amount of time, where they picked up the necessary phrases that got them sufficient access to good food and exotic babes. They’ll babble out some string of vaguely Japanese-sounding words, more often than not with a really terrible accent (so even if the language were my native tongue I’d still have to work to decipher what they’d just said) and look at me expectantly, and when all I give them is a blank face of disinterest and incomprehension, they look so crushed in return.

Like, if you’re not going to speak Asian, what’s the good of you looking Asian?

On the one hand, I get mildly annoyed because you don’t see me walking up to white guys and eagerly trying to start up a conversation in Gaelic or Latin (or, hell, even German) with them.

On the other hand, I secretly revel in the security of knowing that I pronounce "tempura" the correct way. And, for that matter, "bruschetta." So there.

Medicinal tongue in my ear

New Zealand has always had a lot of things going for them in my eyes, ever since I was a little kid. New Zealand has sheep and snow and mountains and lakes and really, really cute boys. But did you know what *else* is in New Zealand? Gala apples, that’s what. I did not know this! Until today. Today, I discovered one more reason to give thanks to New Zealand’s existence, because Gala apples, alongside Fuji apples, are my favorite apples ever. And I’m picky about apples. I don’t like Washington Reds or either of the Delicious varieties, I don’t like Braeburns or Jonagolds or Mcintoshes, and I only use Granny Smiths for baking.

Friday evening, though, I discovered a new apple: the Pacific Rose. And it was amazing. Expensive, but better than– and I’m sort of sorry to confess this, because I was so incredibly excited when I first saw them at Ralph’s last year– Grapples, which are *super* crazy expensive. But! Wouldn’t you know, the Pacific Rose was created by crossing a Splendor apple with a Gala apple, which means– yup– it’s from New Zealand, too. There is much Kiwi love in my heart today. [1]

*****

I think I finally found a swallowable wine– the Moscato from Trader Joe’s. Everyone else couldn’t stand it because it was "too sweet, practically syrupy." Someone compared drinking it to chugging a bottle of Log Cabin. So I finally get the pluck to sample it, right?– and I hate wine to begin with– and wouldn’t you know it, I kind of liked it. So, yeah.

Also– I learned about this at the wine-and-cheese party, too: screwdriver slushies!

Did you know about these? I didn’t know about these, I didn’t even know that there was any knowing to be known about these. But! Screwdriver slushies! Orange juice and vodka thrown in a blender, then put in the freezer until ideal slushiness is attained.

It sounds more like a summer drink, which out here means about March, but who am I to discriminate against a food or beverage based on seasonal category? This is, after all, a girl who stocks up on Popsicles in the dead of winter and craves hot cocoa when it’s 118 outside.

[1] This site says that the flavor of the Pacific Rose is often compared to that of the Fuji. I’m starting to feel sadly predictable in my tastes.

Just to occupy one minute of your day

I’ve been jealous all day. I might or might not have been jealous all day yesterday, too, but I’ve no way of knowing since I slept through all of Saturday, with exception of three five-minute periods in which I tried, and quickly failed, to be up and about.

It’s a silly jealousy, a petty jealousy, unwarranted and irrelevant, caused by something someone remarked, off-handedly, to me in the wee hours of Saturday morning. I didn’t think anything of it at the time, but now that it’s had time to stew and process and fester, I’m wishing that something had never been said. I didn’t need to know. And what’s worse is, there’s so much ambiguity regarding when. Two months ago? Two years ago? People get married all the time. And regardless, it really bears no importance to me. Of course there was someone before me, and there will be someone after me (likely, there already has been)– just as I came after and before others.

Man. This is lame. I’m sorry for the lameness of this, though not sorry enough to not post it. But I’m already nine days into December and I haven’t even begun to cut into the list of post titles for the month. I could write about Twinkies, I guess, except I don’t think I could spend more than five words on that: "Twinkies? I don’t like them."

I want to burn the sheets that smell like your skin

I was at a party last night up on the north-of-north-las-vegas side of town and had a missed connection that utterly crushed me. So when I finally got home, I posted an ad on craigslist, because isn’t that the proper order of things?:

(Original CL link)

Maybe my favorite line from the whole thing: "I don’t exactly remember,
um, what you look like. I think you were… white? Truth be told, I
didn’t even take notice of you until you were already in my mouth and
I’d swallowed."

Yes.

I don’t know, though. It might get to the point where I’ll just have to make a webpage for this, something along the lines of, oh, say, nlvcheeseofmydreams.com? Watch for it.

Something soft and really quite dumb

I was reading some old entries from years ago and came across one in which I was very seriously aggrieved at having had worked a 10.5-hour day. I laughed so hard at that.

Toad told me, early on in the friendship so probably before she got to know me better, that she thought I was fearless. I’m not, of course– but I *am* hugely laissez-faire about practically everything, and I’m spontaneous and impulsive, and I have an unwavering faith that things will turn out fine… eventually, if not immediately. I’m also not afraid of normal afraid-ful things, things like death or losing or failing or moose attacks. None of these things would make me happy and I’m sure biologically, the fear instinct would kick in (adrenaline pumping, pupils dilating, etc.), but the fear wouldn’t exist on a level that would keep me from doing whatever it was that might incur said risk. If I want to go explore that woodsy path in some random part of Canada, moose be damned, I’m going.

A true fear of mine that I can pinpoint with ease, however is: I am afraid of letting people know that they can, or maybe even have, hurt me. I am afraid of admitting that I am not 100% in control of my state of emotion at all times. This is fear that will stop me at times, that will silence me at others. This is fear that kept me from ever telling the last guy I dated (oh for fuck’s sake, I am settling this with myself now, he was a boyfriend; so–) my last boyfriend that I missed him, that I hated being 300 miles away from him.

And– it’s not a fear of being hurt. I can deal with pain, old hat; it’s just this idea of letting people *know* they have the power, the ability, to hurt me. Not a big fan, really.

Anyway. Hey! Lookit:

Two more months! (three, nm)