Posted tagged ‘friends’

So What? I’m Still a Rock Star

January 12, 2012

Amy and I got a hall pass for the night.

We haven’t been out together without Monkeybutt in months.  It sucks to ask someone to babysit in the evenings.  Jane goes to bed at 6:30.  So, basically, we are asking someone to come over and sit in our house while the baby sleeps.  And we don’t even have cable.

But tonight, a friend launched his magazine The Local Dirt.  We decided to go out and support his endeavors to raise awareness about local and sustainable foods in the Tampa area.  Amy’s folks came over to sit in our house, not play with Jane and not watch cable.  And Amy and I headed out to party it up in Ybor City.

Okay, okay.  Partying it up for me means seeing a few old friends, drinking some icy ice water and taste testing the salsa from our friend’s new salsa company.  By the way, the Mango Habanero had a lovely smoky and spicy taste.  Definitely my favorite of his offerings.

Anyway, after the par-tay, I was starving.  Just like old times leaving Ybor, except I wasn’t drunk, I wasn’t climbing into a cab, and I still remembered my home address.  But I was hungry, so we headed for the Taco Bus.  I am embarrassed to say that, after 8 years of living in Tampa, this was my first trip to the Taco Bus.  How could I have waited so long?!  It is a BUS, out of which they serve TACOS!  Brilliant!  And so very delicious.  They offer multiple vegetarian options… and they had vegan steak strips!  I ordered the tacos (flour) with vegan steak strips and all the taco veggies.  I got two.  I would happily have put back four; they were that good.  And the green salsa on the table, go for it!  It is hot, but so very tasty.

Thank goodness Amy and I got out tonight.  Turns out we both remember how to socialize a bit.  And we both still know how to scarf down food at the end of the night.  We are rock stars!   (Not really at all)



Thank Goodness for the Ham…

December 20, 2011

Until Sunday, I was a dinner party virgin.  I had never cooked for more than 3-4 people without assistance from someone with more culinary skills than I possess.  But, on Sunday, we invited some of our dearest friends (plus their 3 kids) and Amy’s parents over for dinner.  Was I nervous?  No.  Well, okay… a little.  But mainly because 1) kids can be finicky eaters, 2) I have never cooked for Amy’s mom, who happens to cook for friends and extended family all the time, and 3) I am the only vegan in the group, but I was determined to only cook vegan food–I wanted to be able to eat everything on the table for a change.

Saturday night, I scrolled through endless recipes online.  I had decided to go with a vegan meatloaf as the main dish (which, in retrospect, seems really crazy to serve to omnivores).  I was going to do mac & cheeze, but decided against it; mac & cheese is like a religious experience to a kid.  There is no faster way to get them to turn on you than to tell them that they are having one of their favorite foods, then serve them something they barely recognize because  OOPS! YOU DON’T EAT CHEESE.  So, I opted for mashed potatoes, instead.  I make a mean mashed potato.  The potatoes were also the only thing on the menu (besides the salad) that I had made before.  And, finally, I decided on Polenta with Balsamic Kale & White Beans as my green side.  Whew!

How did it go?  You are so kind to ask.

In total, I spent 3 hours in the kitchen.  When I look back on the experience, I really have no idea why it took so long.  But I got everything on the table at the same time, all of it was still warm, and most of it had all the ingredients… most.

The meatloaf should have been called something else.  Maybe a harvest loaf?  There was nothing meaty about it.  There were pieces of carrots in it, for Pete’s sake.  The main ingredients were tempeh, brown rice and bread crumbs.  Mmmm…. grainy.  Look, I know where I went wrong:  meatloaf was my favorite food as a kid.  I just wanted to try to replicate that.  And the recipe came from a reputable chef.  Apparently, a chef that has a mad love affair with carrots.  And grains.  I should have bought Boca crumbles (vegan!) and used an approximation of my mom’s recipe for meatloaf.  It has ketchup, a piece of bread… and a conspicuous lack of carrots.  Plenty of vegetarians & vegans would have loved the meatloaf that I made on Sunday.  But it wasn’t for me.  What did the omnivores think?  They ate it.  But they are nice like that.  I think some  of them may have pushed it under their mashed potatoes.  I wouldn’t blame them.  And they ate the ham that my mother-in-law mercifully brought over.  I have never been so delighted to see a ham in my life.  For real.

The biggest hit was the polenta and kale dish.  None of my guests had ever even tried kale.  In fact, they looked at it as if it were highly exotic and kept repeating “kale” (yes, like aliens).  And every person at the table asked me at least once what polenta was.  But they loved it.  Loved.  They even asked for the recipe.  Win!  The polenta makes it a really kid friendly dish.  And, since the balsamic is drizzled on at the end, you can control how much goes on each serving.  I did leave out the white beans, completely on accident.  The recipe works fine without them, but I will add them in next time.  In fact, next time I make this, it will serve as the main dish.  It really is that good.

What nuggets of wisdom did I take away from this experience?  1) Try out recipes before serving them to unsuspecting people.  2) Mashed potatoes are a crowd pleaser.  3) Kale is apparently very fun to say.  4) Sometimes it is okay to let your mother-in-law go ahead and bring that ham over.  Just saying.


Entitling this post “One is the Loneliest Number” would seem a bit heavy-handed…

December 10, 2011

All 3 of us are sick.  On any given day, that would suck.  But today was supposed to have been our Christmas party.  And we had to cancel.  We couldn’t very well entertain folks in The House of Sick.

But I really needed this party.  I am feeling kind of friendless right now.  Actually, I just feel disconnected from the friends I do have.  I just don’t know how to get into a groove where it is just easy and natural to meet someone out for a cup of coffee.  Right now, even with my friends, a cup of coffee feels more like a date (an awkward first one at that).  And that is if we ever even make it out for that cup of coffee–and, let’s be honest, we don’t.

When I quit drinking three years ago, I lost the core group of people I hung out with.  I do have two very good friends who have remained close… but we never hang out.  I just know they are there, if I need them.  I had hoped I would meet some friends once I had Jane.  I figured other moms might want to be friends, right?  And it isn’t that I am not making friends.  It just seems like such a slow process.

I just want some to take the kids to the park with.  Someone to share the joys, trials and mishaps of married life and parenthood with.  I want to have a cup of coffee.  I want someone to tell me if the jeans look okay on me or not.  I just want a friend.   Or two.

Defects of Character? Who Me?

February 25, 2010

I slept in this morning.  Blessed sleep.  Until 9:00 a.m. even.  Decadent.

I met with my sponsor to finish my Fifth Step (you know, the one where you review all of your resentments, fears, sexual misconduct and harm done to others… Fun!).  My sponsor and I lounged around on my bedroom floor (like we were twelve), and I commenced to tell her all of the things that really get to me, the ones that keep me up at night, that keep tugging at me when I would rather ignore them.  I have been through a Fifth Step before.  It is cleansing to take such a close look at myself, eye-opening to see the patterns of thought and behavior that emerge.  But the whole process is a bit draining.  It is always hard to look directly at myself, in an effort to see where I can become better, where I can grow.  Truth be told, I am not always great at admitting that I am not perfect.  Ahem.

After my sponsor left, I spent some quiet time alone with some apple cinnamon tea in my papasan chair.  I won’t bore you with the particulars, but there may have been some praying going on (Step 6: Became entirely ready for God to remove these defects of character & Step 7: Humbly asked him to remove our shortcomings).

I had been debating about a run on and off all day.  Usually any intense emotional experience dictates that I must run, to clear my head.  But it is cold here in Tampa.  And I hate cold.  But I also hate cranky… and cranky was about to rear its ugly head.  So I tied on my shoes and headed out.

I swear, I felt like I was running through molasses.  Everything was off about this run.  My shoulders and my hips felt like they were out of sync.  I got a cramp in my side.  And did I mention the molasses?  Slow going.  Very slow.  But I guess sometimes the success of a run is measured by whether I make it from Point A to Point B.  And I did, molasses be damned.

Now, it is on to karaoke with some friends…. I hope someone sings Sweet Caroline.  Or maybe some Bon Jovi….


February 11, 2010

I started feeling sniffly last night.  And my tonsils feel like they are contemplating mutiny.  This falls into the category of VERY BAD NEWS, since I wanted to do another long run today (my long run on Monday didn’t go exactly as I wanted–and I am nothing if not neurotic.  I wanted a do-over).

So, since sickness seemed to be descending, I slept in a bit this morning.  After my oatmeal and coffee, I drug myself to school for a meeting, alternating between feeling hyper-energetic and feverish and achy.  When I got to school and tried to park on campus, the parking machine declined my card… so Monkito had to come get me and drop me off at the English Dept (oh, and the parking machine that declined my card charged my account anyway.  BASTARDS!).

Now I am trying to keep my chin up; really, I am.  But the combination of swollen tonsils, achy back and Parking Fiasco 2010 has left me a bit frazzled.  Then, I walk into my office…. and I see an entire plate of cupcakes baked especially for me by my friend JD.  Vanilla cake with chocolate icing.  And SPRINKLES!

Friends make things suck a lot less.  Just sayin’.  Oh, and cupcakes don’t hurt, either.

Waiting It Out

January 15, 2010

I took the drugs to prompt my body to begin the miscarriage process about 4 hours ago.  Actually taking the drugs felt like a monumental decision.  I am not sure quite why.  The pregnancy is over.  I guess the administration of the drugs was the final acknowledgement that Blat is gone.

Aside from my laying on the couch while the cramps come and go, Monkito and I have spent the evening enthralled in Battlestar Gallactica.  Brilliant diversion. Fraking brilliant.

And in other news, I almost lost my mind when I realized that our mop is nowhere to be found.  A dog peed on the floor, and I HAVE NO MOP.  (can you see how close we came to a meltdown there?)  Fortunately, Monkito saved the day once again by picking  up a mop on her way to fetch the pizza.  Thank God for Monkito.

While I am being thankful, I want to send a shout out (do the kids even say that any more?) to my baby sister, who visited last night, and to my best friend and her partner, who are flying in tomorrow.  Monkito and I feel loved and supported during this otherwise rather shitty time.  And for that we are most grateful.


September 18, 2009

This weekend, my best friend and her girl fly in to celebrate my birthday.  Their plane arrives in approximately 4.5 hours.  About this, I am very excited.  Frolicking on the beach is the main event this weekend.  And spending time with them… real time, where we aren’t rushing about constantly, where we talk about whatever comes to mind and laugh frequently over nothing at all.

I spent the majority of my life fixating on my birthdays.  They had to be just so.  I favored big parties and lots of hullabaloo.  I needed to be the center of attention.  I desired validation, confirmation that the world would not go on turning if I were not a part of it.

Now I know that those expectations are too much, too unrealistic, too grossly self-centered.

This weekend, I will relish the friendship that the four of us share, reminded of the fact that each of us offers something special to the world.  And I will feel very grateful to be with three people who appreciate me for exactly who I am.

I probably will require a cupcake, though.  You know, to celebrate properly and all.