Tuesday, November 27, 2007

The View I Miss Already

Thanksgiving is over and now the true holiday season begins. I’ve returned from a few short days at home (as in where my family is) with a sense of nostalgia. It’s true that around this time of year I oft ponder those Turkey Days of childhood. At the time they seemed so picturesque: long wooden table, big family gathering, cousins galore.

Of course as I’ve gotten older I can see more clearly the falsity in those images I’ve maintained, like picking only the best photos for the album. But it doesn’t make that loss any less of one. In fact, as I write this I realize that sensation of nostalgia is actually one more akin to disconnection. Where is that family now? When did I last sit down for that Thanksgiving?

Part of being a child of divorcees is learning to take disconnection in stride. You disconnect from a bed, a house, a parent to take on the other. And as you get older home becomes less of a place and more of a concept. But I’m still just muddled with longing for the images that I remember, and yet lately find myself realizing are untrue. People change but then don’t change at all, so it’s easy to find yourself disappointed, but places? Some places never change.

Friday Shirley and I, along with another friend of ours spent one final night at the place of childhood fantasies (or mine at least): the Skyview Drive-In. It was an amazing time just lying in the back of the car, covered in blankets, stuffing ourselves with candy, while the cold, fall air chilled our cheeks. But it was so sad too. The drive-in is no longer, not as a gathering place to catch a flick and or specifically in Santa Cruz, where it soon becomes a hospital.

We knew it would be our last night time there, beneath the stars, amidst that big glowing screen. How many movies I’ve seen there, I can’t begin to count, but I can remember watching them from my car-seat as a child. So yeah, another thing lost.

Later that night I dreampt about someone I loved dearly as a child. Someone who flits through my mind rarely, but always brings a smile to my face. In the dream, this person had to tell me that nothing would ever be the same. I didn’t want to, but I knew I had to let my idea of them go. So I did…in the dream.

And I now I need to try to do the same with the drive-in. The one good thing about being [dreaded word to follow] an adult is that you get to finally make some of your own traditions. And stick to them. Or try your damndest to. Then when I’m eighty I can bore my grandchildren with stories about the drive-in.

“The last time I went was November of 2007. You weren’t even a twinkle yet. Can you believe I was worried things might not turn out okay back then?”

Monday, November 19, 2007

How Food And Multiple Homes Don't Work Together

So I'd love to show you all the beautiful Vietnamese dinner that The BF and I made last night. The pure white noodles, nestled beneath the mounds of green herbs, lettuce, carrots, and jalapeƱo, carrying the heavy load of caramelized-to-perfection pork. I wish you could have seen it as the glistening pink/orange of the nuoc cham spilled over the top, cascading to the depths of my bowl, creating a pocket of sweet amongst my noodles. Yeah, it would be nice for you to see that, but since I didn't have my camera available you can't.

Say hello to one of the many problems that face those of us that live in limbo between two locations: not having the things you need when you need them. It's a frustrating thing, especially when you stay that extra night and you have absolutely nothing left to wear. And you have to run into your own place before work and get completely dressed in a massive hurry. And then, if you've cooked a big meal, you have to move the leftovers to the appropriate house as well, so you don't waste them (and you get your damned moneys worth from that grocery trip that cost far more than eating lunch and dinner out for the next three days would have, but you do it because you love it).

Anyways, there's no point in posting the recipe because without the pictures it just doesn't have the same appeal. Even if I describe it as best I possibly could, it's just never going to do it for you. I understand that, because I'm the same way. Which leads me back to my gripe about not having all my things readily available to me when I'm at The BF's and vice versa. It's not something that can be helped right now. So we must overcome. I must not think about the bottle of Calvados that's sitting nearly full in my cupboard that was bought for just a tablespoon that was needed, and may never be used again. Or about the broth that needs to be made before Thanksgiving dinner at The BF's house that involves using 1/2 cup of Calvados. The same 1/2 cup that is sitting at my own house. Sure, just bring the Calvados from one place to the other. But it's not that simple. It involves planning out the week. Who's house will we stay at what night? Are there plans any night in The City that we must be around for? Is the commute from San Rafael worthy of that damn bottle of Calvados?

Conclusion: if you're going to do the whole food thing you need to either be single or you need to live with your significant other. Or, as an alternative, you need to be super rich so you don't have to feel bad about buying multiple bottles of esoteric alcohol.

Monday, November 12, 2007

Well, There Goes Another Weekend

So this is the post I talked about last time, where I was going to be all positive and "I love life" and stuff, but then decided I just wasn't a good enough faker. Basically, I removed the trite, happy paragraph that led into it, and put this in instead. Isn't honesty always the best policy anyways? I guess sometimes I'm honest to a fault. It was a good weekend though; sure as hell beat this last one...

The weekend before last, The BF celebrated his 25th birthday in the form of a surprise weekend getaway. When he found out on Thursday night that he wouldn't have to be going to work on Friday and that we were going up to Sea Ranch, he was shocked, to say the very least. (Apparently he doesn't give me enough credit for manipulative capabilities.) Needless to say, when we made it up to Sea Ranch and I informed him that we were actually going to be joined by his closest friends (and some of mine too), he was catatonic with astonishment, which was followed with complete panic.

"But, we don't have enough food. I have to clean. Where are they all sleeping? How are we going to entertain them?"

Both The BF and I happen to be Type A personalities; we have a hard time relinquishing control to fate. However, after I assured him that everything was taken care of and everyone showed up, we had a great time. We ate more than I care to recognize, but it was all fantastic. The men cooked a potluck with a variety of food that could never possible go together anywhere else, like short ribs and red chile beans, steamed salmon, flanks steak with chimchurri, as fresh as you can get abalone ceviche, and fish tacos. It was quite the smorgasboard.

We could not have dreamed of better weather, espcially in November, daylight savings weekend, on the northern coast of California. We played out our fantasies of moving up there for a few months or even a few weeks like we always do. And though a good majority of me wanted to just stay up there forever, and pretend The City was just a place I visited, the sunset on our drive home, reminded me that are defintely some things worth coming home for, even with work, all the projects, and daily life dramas (like my Mac costing $700 to be repaired). I wouldn't have wanted to miss that sunset for the world, even if it meant that I didn't have to deal with rent or my crazy clients anymore. Wait, now that's a bit extreme. It was good, but certainly not that good. I'm pretty sure nothing is that good.

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Heels On Hardwood

I had my post for today all written out about how I'm all set to enjoy my final weeks of the semester instead of willing them to go by faster, cause I'm "all positive and stuff." But you know what, eff that. It just ain't my style, never has been. Maybe I'll post it, but certainly not today. I'm not feeling "all positive" at the moment, especially when I awoke to the sounds of heels on hardwood this morning, brought to me by who else but my lovely neighbors. I pretty much wake up to their sounds everyday, which is fine. I get it, they have hardwood floors, it's gonna happen, but at 4:45 in the frickin morning? WTF?! Does Ms. Noisy Neighbor really need to stomp around the apartment in heels before 5am on her way to the airport or god knows where? Can she not just place them on her nyloned feet as she walks out the door? Is that so damn difficult?

I fantasize...

Dear Noisy Neighbors,

I do not mean this letter to be an attack on your lifestyle, but rather an informative message so that you might make more considerate daily choices. From downstairs your short runs to reach a telephone in time sound like the violent tremors of giant's feet. Your patterned romps and bed creaks sound both depressing and disturbing. Oh, and are you really moving furniture nightly? Cause it sure as hell sounds like you might be.

PS: Hearing the steady whir and then buzz of your dryer is just plain cruel as we stuff our three week old laundry into overflowing hampers and netted bags to far off locations.

PPS: It's called a space rug. Try it.

I'm bitter, I know. I'll work on it. I mean I won't but, you know, I'm at least aware of it.