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[about the author]

i actually like speaking in front of large crowds. freakish, eh?

i work crossword puzzles in ink.

i am the american nigella lawson. or maybe the american eddie izzard. can't decide, really.

i would be a really good mom, but i'm cool with being a really good aunt.

i am sometimes more perceptive than i would like to be.

i am fiercely loyal. sometimes, stupidly so.

i never play dumb. never.

i am way too hard on myself.

i am a change agent.

i sometimes cross that fine line between assertive and aggressive.

i am not afraid to tell people that i love them.

i am militantly pro-choice.

i am pro-adoption.

i know a little bit about alot of things.

i typically enjoy the company of men more than women.

i am capable of being really mean and nasty, but i fight it. hard.

i am a lifelong cubs fan. do not laugh.

i have been known to hold a grudge.

i have hips.

i am not my sister.

i am lousy at forgiving myself.

i am an indoor kind of gal.

i am a bargain shopper. to the point of obsession.

i am 32 flavors. and then some.

 
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[all content copyright 2007 by tequila mockingbird. seriously.]


 
9.25.2002  

food for thought
i've been thinking alot about food today. not that that fact makes today much different from any other day, but today not only will i think about it -- i shall write about it!

so...i love food. alot. pretty much all food. i mean, like everyone, i guess i have my food hang-ups. although i've gotten over a couple of them very recently. thanks to a mix-up at the sandwich shop across the street from my office (i was trying to quickly get away from a very unfortunate incident in which a not-so-bright law enforcement officer picked the worst gal in the shop to hit on), i am now okay with eating raw tomatoes and avocado. the universe works in mysterious ways. since the reconciliation between me and the avocado, i've even gone so far as to have guacamole in my house. sometimes the world is filled with so much beauty i can hardly stand it. well, beauty and guacamole.

so...food. it's a big deal to me. huge, really. i love to eat food. i love to cook food. i love to share food. i find comfort in food, and alot of my most cherished memories are inextricably linked to food. thanksgiving is a perfect example. the bonding that took place in my grandmother's kitchen the night before thanksgiving was an important part of my life. typically, my gran, my mother, and my favorite aunt would spend the entire evening -- until after midnight -- in the kitchen. laughing, talking, and preparing the thanksgiving meal.

in my gran's kitchen, the countertop had an unusual feature. the front corner of her kitchen was a window -- the corner itself was a window. and, if this makes any sense, the kitchen sink was the third side of a triangle, so while my gran did dishes, she could look out the window and watch the world go by. anyway, there was counterspace behind the sink...i'm not explaining this well. so, when i was young, i'd climb up onto the counter, and sit on the countertop behind the sink (so the corner-window was behind me) and watch the goings-on into the night. i watched my gran roll out piecrusts that no one in our family has ever been able to duplicate. i think the secret is the fact that she used crisco, and no one of later generations wants to use shortening. i watched as they tore bread into a huge bowl and eventually turned it into dressing that, despite the lack of a real recipe with actual measurements, always managed to taste amazing in the very same way year after year after year.

i also learned alot about love and family and affection in that kitchen. i remember how it smelled, and how the windows steamed up as the nighttime air grew colder and the old gas oven grew warmer. i remember the sound of my gran's old percolator on the stove, and the laughter of my mom and my aunt as they ganged up to make fun of their mom. those times, those memories, are what i think of when i hear the word "family." i miss those nights.

food also became a way for me to connect with my stereotypically absent father. sure, my father was around, but he wasn't really there. i remember never feeling as though he had an interest in me. how hurtful it felt that he seemed so unimpressed with me. i remember when my standardized test scores came back. i was sure my scores, and the suggestion that i might be some sort of freakish savant/prodigy would garner some reaction from my father. but none came. as the years passed, i became increasingly convinced that, somehow, i just wasn't good enough for my father to notice me. that i wasn't impressive enough, or...something enough.

these days, it is food that has facilitated the healing of old wounds between dad and me. when i cook for my family, it is always my father who is loudest with praise, who never fails to go back for seconds. am i a good cook? yes. but, even when the dish isn't up to restaurant fare, my father shoos away my doubts and raves. and, of course, many of the dishes i prepare i choose specifically with my father in mind. i'm still that young girl trying to please him and win his approval. and, i think it is an unspoken understanding between us. i think he sees me reaching out, and has, in turn reached out himself in apology to me, showering me now with all the praise he never gave me then.

there are days when i wish i didn't love food so much. usually, it's around the time i have to put on a swimsuit for the first time each season. but, nothing lifts the spirits like a big steaming bowl of real mashed potatoes, and, unfortunately, i'm a gal who needs her spirits lifted often enough to make an undeniable impact on my ass. i was thinking today about turning over yet another new leaf. making a concerted effort to visit the gym regularly; shave at least one size off my lower half; actually cultivate definition in my arms. suddenly, i felt sad. i realized that i do want those things...but i want my mashed potatoes, too.

oh, i could go on for days. pasta carbonara. a rare steak. pad kee mao. ripe pears. but i guess i'll just say that life is too short, in my estimation, to give up the things you love. so, while i have committed to myself this september day to tackle my body with the same zest and enthusiasm i have for mashed potatoes...i'm not giving up the potatoes, either.
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