Sunday, March 29, 2009

Don't be Frightened; It's Only Tofu



Made this for dessert, a chocolate tofu pie. Easy, EASY recipe.

This is what you do:

Blend one package of silken tofu with one t of vanilla.
Melt one bag of chocolate chips over medium heat in a little sauce pan.
Mix tofu stuff and chocolatey goodness. Taste. Add a little sugar-type substance if it needs it.
Pour (scrape) into pie shell.
Refrigerate until set. (The recipe said three hours; mine took one.)
Put it in your tummy.

It ain't perfectly healthy, but I like Sunday desserts. Especially on fast Sunday.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Oh Yeah, And

Come see me, really. Those who volunteered. And those who didn't. Come any time (almost).

And I also must say: Sam and I saw a little bird today, a very little bird, flying with a huge stick-like thing in its mouth. This stick-like thing was several times its size.

This seemed very brave.

At the Prom, with Kitty



Tonight I made tasty white bean basil/thyme hummus, which is in the bowl there. Only, my thyme migrated to the back of the fridge and got frozen, as you see there.

My time got frozen, I thought while squeezing a lemon. Frozen in thyme. And suddenly I was at the prom. Is that not the theme for 97,000 proms a year?

In other news, while eating said hummus, which was not as good as the last time I made it, which makes it a bummer I doubled it, this is what the cat did. He was, himself, frozen like that for most of the meal. (Yes, my kitchen rug is yucky. Fire me please. Please, fire me.)



He did that right up until he decided to do this.



I would give my left arm to know what happens in that little guy's brain.

Friday, March 27, 2009

I Made My Background Be Quieter

It was too loud.

Everything's been too loud.

But today I'm sitting in my office and I don't think anyone knows I'm here because I've just been at my computer, reading a new blog that I'm obsessed with. And I won't tell you what it is because I'm stalking and I want to stalk quietly. Shhhh.

I want everything to be quieter. I don't want to cry in Sam's arms again, like I did last night. I mean, some day I will again, I'm sure. But it's such a bummer for him to have a sad, slumpy wife.

I hate sad, slumpy wives. Me, I mean. That me.

I thought I was this person, this poet, this happy person who sang songs to her cats and danced around her house in the mornings and had oodles of wonderful people in her life and liked to run and learn stuff and eat pretty food.

So I keep feeling like she's coming back. The other day I walked up the stairs to my office and I actually felt good and happy and energetic and useful to my students and it made me realize how much I DIDN'T feel that way when I got here--how loud and dark and heavy everything was, how hard. I don't think people who are depressed think they're really depressed. I don't, didn't; never believed it. But now, looking back on it, damn. That wasn't normal. That wasn't me.

Which is why even the littlest hint of panic/sadness can send me into a real dither these days--because I'm afraid of spinning down and into it again. And I like it here, up here where it's sunny and quieter.

I'm realizing I live in Boston. Boston, for crying out loud. And there's stuff here to see and think and do. I want to make a friend and go out to lunch with said friend. And maybe we'll buy a book or something pretty and she'll say something about husbands or God or Nebraska, and I'll say something back, and it will make both of us laugh very hard. Friends that I already have, won't you come visit?

In June, in Paris, I'm going here, the ballet:



Everything's fine.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

shrink today.

saw my shrink this morning--my new one, who's not as dumb as the last.

you know what's weird about having a shrink? you can feel happy, singing stupid songs in the bathtub happy, admiring the way the sun comes in the window and shatters the light of your wedding ring happy, and then you go in there and talk about all the stuff you worry about and makes you sad. and then you know what happens? surprise, surprise, it makes you sad! duh.

it's weird this happened today because then on the way to school i listened to the moth podcast and they had a story by someonerother solomon who wrote noonday demon (and i'm too lazy to link--sorry.) and he was telling this story about being in Africa and having this ritual performed by some village medicine woman, meant to combat depression. the ritual involved hugging a ram in a marriage bed while everyone danced around and threw blankets on them and then they slit the ram's throat and covered the man's naked body in blood and wrapped him up in ram intestines and the whole village had a bbq and ate the ram. and it helped, as weird as it was. and he said he talked to another man in rwanda who said western psych people are so weird because instead of taking you out in the sun (to give vitamin-D) and beating drums (to get blood flowing) and surrounding you with people, they bring you into a little dark room where you talk about why you're sad. and i laughed and smacked my hands on my steering wheel and said "precisely!"

Monday, March 23, 2009

{crickets ... crickets}

A couple from church invited us over for dinner last night, and they were a delight. Not only did they enthusiastically cook a delish tofu dish, but they had traveled to cool places, had interesting books on their bookshelves, and regaled us with stories of winter camping. Oh so cold.

Anyway, at one point the gal was talking about NYU, and why she decided not to go there after all, even though she had started classes. Among other reasons, she said they have people who own student loan companies on their board, which means they raise and raise tuition so they can put more money in their pockets.

"And," she said ominously, "the owner of Penthouse is on their board."

"Oh," said my sweet husband, "you mean so-and-so." As if they were buddies. As if he's known him since grade school.

Apparently, Sam says this person is someone everyone's heard of--a household name, of sorts. It's not like Sam has a subscription--trust me.

But in that moment, before we knew it was a name most people know, sitting on overstuffed couches with our bellies full of tofu and jazz on the ipod and a Book of Mormon on their bookshelf, you could have heard the sigh of a flea.

Oh, it was quiet.

I was dying to say something to smooth that one out. But how do you smooth that one out?

So I laughed. I laughed very hard. And luckily, so did the new friends.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

A Post in Which I Report Two Amusing Dreams in a Fascinating, Quick, Non-irritating Manner

This morning at five a.m., the kitties did their usual routine: chasing and running and jumping and playing on and around our sleeping bodies. Oh how I hate that particular routine. It's like they have little cat alarm clocks. Playtime, it rings.

So I got up, coaxed them into the kitchen by shaking their food box, fed them a little, then snuck back in and closed the door.

And Sam said, "I was just dreaming that Meatsock [the kitty] had a science test. A biology test, in one of those big auditoriums that hold hundreds of people. And you were really worried he wouldn't do well. And I was trying to tell you he'd do just fine."

"Was he a human form of Meatsock?" I asked.

"No, definitely a cat. No opposable thumbs or anything."

Then I remembered/realized what I'd been dreaming. I confess, I record a few episodes of America's Next Top Model a week on DVR, and I watched two last night while I graded midterms. And you know what I was dreaming? It was something like "America's Next Top Vegan." These pretty girls had to compete for who was the healhiest eater and the smartest, most charming vegan.

I think I might be a bit obsessed. I'm sure it's a transition phase of sorts, but I'm always thinking about what I can eat, what I'll do when we go out to dinner with friends (if we ever get any) or family, what I'll say when visiting teachers bring me cookies. On and on with worrying and thinking about no more quesadillas or chicken sandwiches and on and on. And then I make something vegan, like last night, when I made this huge wrap with black beans and carrots and baby romaine lettuce and GOOD salsa and a touch of soy cheese, and I think, whatever. This is the tastiest food in the world, to me. As far as my tastbuds are concerned, they WANT that more than anything. They just forget, and bug me all day for an eggroll. An eggroll, of all things.

Ah well. Maybe I can convince Tyra to buy the rights to my dream.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

A Rainbow On Your Plate

I started a vegan whole foods diet, and it's hardcore. I'm afraid to talk about it because I've only been doing it for a week and I feel like a poser. But someday I'll be cool, like my mom, who taught me to eat this way when I was a little whiny kid, and my friend Janae, who makes it look glamorous on her blog. I will say this: I feel gooooodddd. And the food is yummy. 100s of times tastier than all the stuff I was eating before.

Here's what I made last night, with a few modifications. I added an avocado and a cup and half of brown rice. I also used turbinado sugar, and really, you probably don't need it. Or at least not this much. I'm learning, I'm learning. I think I'll make a huge batch and bring it for my lunches next week. Anyway, it's exquisitely good. And the colors are so vibrant that it looks like a rainbow on your plate. Go rainbow, go!



(I stole this picture. I took one of my plate last night but then, well, I messed it up like a dummy. Oh well. Mine looked better, I think.)

Black Bean and Corn Salad

from Cooking Light Annual Recipes 2001, p. 321

Ingredients:

1/4 cup balsamic vinegar

1/4 cup cider vinegar

2 Tbsp brown sugar

1 1/2 tsp fresh lime juice

1/2 tsp ground cumin

1/4 tsp salt

1 garlic clove, minced

1 cup fresh or frozen whole-kernel corn, thawed

1 cup chopped red bell pepper

3/4 cup chopped onion

1/3 cup minced fresh cilantro

1 (15 ounce) can black beans, rinsed and drained

Directions:

Bring first 7 ingredients to a boil in a small saucepan. Reduce heat, and simmer 2 minutes or until sugar dissolves. Combine vinegar mixture, corn, and remaining ingredients in a large bowl; cover and chill. Yield: 8 servings (serving size: 1/2 cup).

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Peep

It's been awhile, yes. Does anyone else get afraid of their blog sometimes? Feel exposed/vulnerable? Maybe it was all the sadness I had inside me. It's hard to write something when all I really, really had to say was, "Wow, I'm so sad." And. "Wow, I'm still so sad."

I don't feel sad now. I don't know if it's the warmer weather, the longer hours of daylight, having a week off school, the 2500 we're getting back for taxes, or what. But I suddenly have energy and interest and even, gasp, joy. Thank goodness. I pray and pray that it sticks to my ribs.

Went to a Relief Society activity, a birthday celebration. It was actually quite lovely and I ate strawberries and grapes and talked to people. I remembered that talking to people, like teaching, is so much about asking good questions, getting other people to talk, listening. I've been scared of engaging in real conversation because I'm so fragile lately and I don't want to have to peel back these layers that protect me. But I remembered tonight that I don't have to if I don't want to. I remembered that making friends and connecting with people is about making THEM feel important, believing that they are worth listening to and letting them feel that from you.

There's this woman in the ward who is so good at this. When she asks me how I'm doing, I can FEEL that she actually wants to know. I don't know how she manages to convey that, but she does. And every time I talk to her, I feel like I'll burst into tears; I'm so relived that someone cares. I must observe her, take notes. I want to be like that.