July 31, 2011
Preunion Jitters, ME Newsletter, Vol. 4, Issue 31
Jitters. I’m restless, agitated, transmitting slightly off center, not sure if I’m early or late. I thought I was happy with myself. Where do these insecurities come from? They sabotage the excitement, make me want to stay away. I’m nervous those I want to see won’t want to see me. Small talk isn’t my forte. Large groups are intimidating. So many reasons to keep to myself; did I really come this far to fall out now?
I used to go to parties because I was horribly afraid of what I would be missing. I rarely enjoyed them, but believed they were necessary to my happiness, and to my career. I would loath getting ready, feel uncomfortable upon arriving. I would make sure I was seen, always with a smile on my face. I was constantly on the look out for the right moment to slip away quietly. Without fail I would beat myself up after getting home over my awkwardness, my inability to make small talk, my propensity not to care about gossip, nonsense or getting drunk. I'd keep going, though. Each time, holding out as long as I could. Each time, it never failed that all of the good stuff happened after I left, anyway. All of these things point to a long standing reluctance to attend large gatherings.
But tonight will be different. I will not make myself any promises. I will not make promises to any others. I will not expect anyone else to be responsible for my happiness. I will not put pressure on myself to have fun. I will let every experience be exactly what it is, and analyze it later. I will follow and take each situation at face value. I have an escape plan. I hope I won’t need one, but I probably will. I’m sure the bar has a cab service to call when I reach that inevitable moment when I decide that I am done.
Well, then. It appears that it is possible to plan not to plan.
It’s surely shaky ground, but I do believe I have perfected the art.
July 26, 2011
Bacon Syrup, ME Newsletter, Vol. 4, Issue 30
You know those cute bottles of flavored syrups you see on coffee shop counters? The type you can purchase at specialty markets to add uniqueness to your home brew? Well, the other day I discovered another exciting indication that once again (yes, this is bragging) I am ahead of the “norm” curve.
You already knew this though. My love for bacon dust, bacon salt and bacon popcorn, and well.. just plain old thick cut or thin cut, maple or smoke flavored, well-done, super crispy bacon isn’t a secret. The fact that I heard a rumor about, and searched tirelessly for six months for, a bacon chocolate bar, proved fruitful. And yes, kids, if you can find it in a store it means that there is a market for it. I may not know my fellow unusual gourmets, but they’re obviously out there.
And just in case you’re thinking I’m kind of out there, too, I not so humbly present this irrefutable evidence:
World Market made another one of my gourmet dreams come true last week. Right there, in the most obvious path a customer could walk, was a small stack of boxes crowned with a neat little row of brown glass bottles. It took a double take to totally believe what was on the label. Sunglasses came off – bifocals no where to be found. Even though, there was no mistaking the bold lettering. There in the center isle, a gourmet siren song reeled me in. Torani Bacon Syrup…
My fellow seeker of gourmet wrinkled her brows and startled out, “OMG! What would you use THAT for?
My already salivating mouth shot back with uninhibited enthusiasm, “OMG! What would you NOT use it for?”
To pay homage to this truly no-marketing-necessary treasure, I will give you a glimpse into my Willy Wonka world of possibilities. The bottle suggests adding it to coffee –I find this use completely unacceptable. Yuck - not my idea of a good thing.
The tamest, most obvious and probably most easily acceptable idea, would be a sweet dollop or two on pancakes. Or crispy malt waffles. Somehow syrup always touches your bacon, anyway. Just admit it - it tastes good!
How about drizzled over fresh cornbread or biscuits? I’m planning to use my Pampered Chef spritzer to rocket mist the delectable stuff over popcorn and to spray dust a sticky soon to be caramelized surface over quartered Yukon Gold potatoes. I might even try my hand @ making candy bacon caramels coated in concoction of confectioner’s sugar and bacon dust, and wrapped in plain white waxed paper. Those might go over well at Cracker Barrel.
Add a little tomato paste for a sweet salty smoky sauce with a fresh ground black pepper or cayenne kick. How about bananas foster ala Elvis – bananas, bacon syrup & peanut butter? It could also easily be that extra secret ingredient in a crock pot of family reunion cocktail weenies or Superbowl worthy meatballs. Cream some into butter for an orgasmic yeast roll or bagel spread. No doubt good to glaze grilled salmon or shrimp or corn on the cob with. Whip into cream cheese with a little lump crab for a stupendous stuffed jalapeno!
Oatmeal would go down smoothly with a handful of chocolate chips and a tablespoon of bacon syrup. Oh, oh, oh! Grits. Mm, hmmm. Grits, I say! Shortbread! Oh, yes, buttery, sweet, bacon-y crumbly heaven with a thumbprint of raspberry jam on top! Sweet tea? Uh, nope, maybe not…kind of the same unhappiness as coffee.
Yep, yep, yep! Bacon flavor without the fat, what’s not to love?
Feel free to chime in, send recipes….
July 18, 2011
Regarding Reunions, ME Newsletter, Vol. 4, Issue 29
Just so you know… I plan on arriving as I am. Blonde highlights and blue feathers, diamond nose stud, an unusually healthy glow on my usually pale skin, pedicured, manicured, tattooed by life and talented hands, overweight but minus 100 # you would have been shocked to see, about to turn my life’s odometer over to 48 years travelled, and really, really excited to see you. I’m pretty much the same, with a lifetime of experience behind me. You’ll ask me if I’m happy, and I’ll answer honestly: not really. I am mostly peaceful, though. Some things turned out worse than I ever imagined, and some things - the best way they could. I’ll try to explain as briefly as I can; 4 states, 4 paths, 31 years of memories filtered into highlights and lowlights. You’ll never meet the man I married, but you’ll see him in me. I’ll tell you stories that will make you laugh. I’ll share the brilliant glimpses of his influence, and our mutual promise that I would continue on, seeking love and knowledge. I’ll try not to cry on when I see you, throughout our short, super condensed time or at departure, but I’m not making any guarantees. I’ll hug you as tightly as I can, for as long as I can, and then hold that memory for the rest of this lifetime. GOD knows when we’ll meet again… and GOD knows when we’ll meet again
July 12, 2011
Over-Crowded, ME Newsletter, Vol. 4, Issue 28
If you don’t ask, the answer is always no.
I’ve always preferred the personal daydream of a maybe to the unhappiness of a solid no.
Complacency has its place, especially in a life where things have honestly been worse. Still… tip-toeing around non-completed dreams in tenuous stilettos doesn’t compare to easy bare-footed dancing on navy polished toenails. It’s like looking down to see the midnight sky – my favorite shade of blue. It’s the opposite of what you might expect me to do.
I like it when people question me. It makes me think about myself in different terms. It provides us both with factual informational answers; the kinds that go a long way toward defining me in no uncertain terms and alleviating misjudgments and rumors. The only way to ensure an accurate answer is to query the source.
There are however, questions I am holding onto. Tight in my fisted palm, seeping through my skin, pulsing through my veins, they over-crowd my sensitive heart. I only amuse myself with the illusion of their privacy. Even our unspoken questions are heard, held safe in HIS hands, until we are ready to let them go. Until we believe the answers will be the right ones, and stop being afraid that they may not be ones we want to hear, we cannot move forward. And neither can I.
like i need
that i want.
for now -
i'm afraid of.
July 06, 2011
Just when I think
I can’t possibly
It gets worse, but
At least it’s not
Always the same
As soon as one spot
Heals, another one
Opens up, fissures
Of where I used to
Divots of numbness
Sit just below the
So go on then
Take the dare and
Another little piece
Of my heart, so
Eventually I’ll feel
Nothing at all.
July 05, 2011
Losing the Battle, ME Newsletter, Vol. 4, Issue 27
The other day a friend posted this non-cryptic notice:
"I lost the battle and no longer care about the war."
Of course my first thought was, "Don't Give Up!"
But my second and third thoughts were these...
Losing a battle is usually preceded by a struggle, singly aimed towards a goal or a desire. Maybe if you lose a battle, it is only because the war doesn't need to be won. Or maybe you’ve just engaged in the wrong war. Maybe we’re fighting for something that, even won, will not lead us to where we need to be. Struggles make us who we are. They open our eyes to the possibilities of what if? But, consider: if we’re continually thwarted in our pursuit, we need to stop and consider why. Perhaps the crusade is a wasted effort, an incorrect approach or not the most reliable way to where we need to be. Why go the long, hard way around? Sometimes losses are really shortcuts to our wins. Quitting an awkward path when you lose a battle may just be the right thing to do.
Losing the battle is not the end, because a battle is but a small thing. Much as a verse is but a part of the Bible. The war of righteousness, the war of love, the war for peace within you as well as around you – these holy wars cannot be wholly won by conquering a single battle or line, verse or chapter. It’s a big book and a long read. Sometimes, it’s best to start at the end, and work your way backwards. Take the opportunity to redirect yourself. Find more realistic ways to achieve your always attainable goals. Be happy with yourself where you are, the way you are, and let the war fall away. If you can say you know GOD’s promises, if you believe, then you can win from exactly where you are.