Taking Stock: November 2018

I am doing a series of extended list posts à la Pip and Maggie Mason.

Cooking: I made a pot of corn chowder last week. Nutritionally, corn chowder is tricky- because it’s high carb and high in fat. No bueno if you’re on low carb or low fat. But I managed NOT to butcher the potatoes and burn the sausage- so it was quite tasty. Definitely something that got better as the week went on.

Drinking: Tea, a lot recently. I bought a package of “Lady Grey” which I did not realize was a thing. It’s quite nice. So much so I don’t even add lemon to it. I’ve also been drinking matcha green tea at work. It’s been chilly here- so it’s been nice to wrap my hands around a hot cup when I first arrive to the office in the morning.

Reading: The American Plate: A Culinary History In 100 Bites by Libby O’Connell. I picked it up on our trip to New England this year. It’s a fascinating tour of food in America. Something I did not know: the town I was born in (Kalamazoo, Michigan) is known as the celery capital of the world. And it used to be considered bougie- which is interesting because I think it is a trash vegetable.

Playing: Futsal. The league I play women’s soccer in has moved from outdoor to indoor at a futsal place, which is nice. I got megged about 35317 times on Wednesday night- so that’s not great. It’s fast paced and fun. It’s nice when it’s cold out- to go to an indoor place and be able to play. Even better I have a great team- the girls are all very nice and good players. It’s a fun team to play on.

Loving: the Devon Market. It’s this little neighborhood market in Rogers Park. Sometimes they have these pizza rolls- that are absolutely divine. Picture a cinnamon roll, only instead of sweet and cinnamon, think savory and cheese. They have a ton of European candy and snacks- which is definitely my jam.

Considering: switching up my planner game. Again. I know- you’re not surprised. I’ve seen the Dapper Desk planner by Simplified Life and honestly, it looks perfect. Stylistically, totally my jam.

But it’s $60 and it’s sold out. So I got to thinking about what I like about it (the fonts and the daily layout for times and a todo list). So I am thinking of what it would take to make my own. The Dapper Desk planner doesn’t have blank pages through out- for list making and such. So it’s probably better that I come up with my own. Really, I ought to get a large custom stamp made that would help with setting up the planner. That would be huge.

But still- it’s taken me about a year and a half to perfect my current system. I wish I had a lot of spare time and “design experience” because then, I would be in the planner business. I mean, I’m even using a monthly tracker.

Buying: Christmas presents now. It’s one of my favorite things about Christmas. I love thinking about and pondering what a person would actually like, what they would find useful, what they would love.

Smelling: fall. I love the smell of crisp air.

Admiring: People who get their shit together to vote early. Right now I am 75th in line to vote early in my neighborhood. Honestly, I didn’t think the line would be this long- in the middle of the day, in the hood. But here I am. I came with about 30% battery charge, like some kind of amateur.

Disliking: Still kinda annoyed that new movies aren’t released for home viewing around the same time as theater release. Like, I get it: popcorn sales. But honestly, I would pay extra to be able to watch new releases in my home.

Snacking: on maduros. Last month, my Whole Foods featured maduros on the hot bar- honestly it was nice. I’ve bought 4 plantains to make my own at home that are taking their sweet ass time to ripen.

Thinking: ahead to Christmas. This year we’re “off” from Texas. So we’re gearing up for a drive to South Florida. Road trips are my absolute favorite. Of course- it’s hard not to like sitting in a car for 18 hours, not doing chores and eating garbage snacks.

Watching: The West Wing. Again. I listened to Bob Woodward’s book on the Trump White House. And you could say I am horrified. West Wing is my comfort blanket.

I know its wrong.  I have confessed previously my shame and compulsion.  But it is slow and there isn’t any sex or violence- so its not the end of the world if Nico passes by the TV while I am watching.

Here is the thing: I don’t know many things. But I do know that the world is a complicated place. I know things aren’t always what they seem and that rarely is one thing ever 100% good or 100% bad. Take for example, Rob Porter. His official position was White House Staff Secretary. Yes, he abused two former wives. But he also worked as part of a coalition within the Trump White House to inhibit some of Trump’s worst instincts.

Trump doesn’t seem to understand the complexity of anything. And he doesn’t seem to be capable of learning, which is troubling. And I wonder if he is actually as dumb as he sounds in Woodward’s book.

Honestly, that was nothing that you could ever say about Obama.

Marveling: last month I listened to a WWII book with Nico that described a German war vehicle: Kampf Wagen, which is probably supposed to mean something like “battle car”. But I interpret kampf as “struggle” and “wagen” as wagon. So some days, I drive the struggle wagon, and it makes me happy to think about.

Worrying: About my kid in school. Always worrying about him in school. Maybe his struggles with focus and attention are evidence of a superior intellect. Maybe his mind rails against the institutionalization of schools and he’s gonna come up with the cure for AIDS or poverty or something. I have a hard time understanding his struggle because I loved school- loved completing worksheets- showing how smart I was.

What does that say about me??

Listening: Queen. I’ve been looking forward to the Queen Biopic. Mostly because I think Remi Malek is brilliant and I am intrigued about the band because I don’t know much about it- other than that Bohemian Rhapsody was part of the soundtrack of my teen years- because of Wayne’s World. And radio stations didn’t play them a lot when they started out.

Resisting: the urge to start new knitting projects. I do not need another cowl or scarf. What I need to knit? A hat that fits my giant ass cabeza. Or socks. But I’ve resigned myself to the fact that I just am not a good enough knitter for either. That does not change my desire for sumptuous, beautifully colored yarn in my hands.

Waiting: I saw an ad about a month ago for a movie about Marie Colvin, a foreign correspondent who was killed in the Siege of Homs in Syria. Then, this weekend, I heard a NPR story with a colleague who has written a biography about her, which is coming out this week. An audible credit purchase later and now I’m just waiting for it to be released.

Also, Netflix (!) is releasing Springsteen on Broadway in December.  December 15.  Not like I am waiting for that day.  Or weighing the possibility of shutting down all commitments in order to watch.

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