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Monthly Archives: May 2012

Happy, Sad, Happy, Sad…

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It’s been a roller-y-coaster-y several days here.

I’ve been mostly meat free, except a minor showdown with chicken enchiladas and heavy cream on Cinco de Mayo. It won. I enjoyed every moment as I fell, I enjoyed a lovely get-together with some very good friends.

Prior to that, there was the sad news that Adam Yauch of the Beasties succumbed to cancer, and after that was the sad news that Maurice Sendak died after a stroke.

My own dad died from cancer a little over a year ago. He had mostly left us when I was young; he was in the military and traveled around the world while we stayed put. He and my mom weren’t that good together, so the stability of staying put and daily lack of conflict were both good for the family. Up til when they got divorced and things got really ugly. I didn’t let him into the house one day, shortly after the divorce. I didn’t really talk to him for another 28 years. I discovered, in Hospice with him, sharing memories with his new family and friends, that I really am like my dad. and it’s not a bad thing. I don’t know if that’s The One Thing that “made” me gain weight, but certainly watching one’s food-and-drink-loving father starve to death makes one appreciate that pleasure in life can be fleeting. When one realizes that one’s father isn’t bad, and shared some of one’s pleasures, and is gone… one can sort of… I dunno. Compensate, albeit unhealthily, and say “fuck it, I could die tomorrow.”

Weight issues aside, I think my dad was also the first rebel I knew. He introduced me to Johnny Cash (Live at Folsom) and Kenny Rogers (he thought The Gambler was big stuff when I visited him in Germany as an eight year-old.)

I grew up in the 70s, and you couldn’t go through that era without seeing the “How Many Licks” commercial for Tootsie Pops, or the cartoons about parts of speech and the constitution, or the “Really Rosie” cartoon. I read Maurice Sendak. He creeped me out a little, with kids encouraged to be themselves and have dreams that didn’t make sense. MY life was supposed to make sense and be all sewn up neatly.

I suppose he was the first subversive I knew.

As I grew up, others brought me new ideas that ran counter to what I was “supposed” to think. Kafka rocked my world, along with Neitzche. I was introduced to the Dead Kennedys and Sex Pistols, different sides of the punk-rock coin.

And then came the Beasties. The were raunchy. They were ballsy. They were catchy. Taking it further than mullet-rock like, “I wanna rock,” they served me rebellion and attitude on a plate kinda’ like spinach– I wasn’t sure that I liked it, but I swallowed it up. Ad-Rock, Mike D, and MCA got in my face and made me sing along. and shake my ass.

Sadly, with my dad, with Maurice Sendak, with the Beasties’ Adam Yauch, I never tied the strands together while they lived. I never expressed the love and appreciation that I felt, the feeling that flourished under the discomfort they brought me to.

But it’s different now.

Thanks dad, MCA, and Mr. Sendak. I hope you guys are having a great time together in the beyond.

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a dirty little secret, and a rant…

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first, the secret: I eat eggs. Not all the time, but there’s just something about a morning egg that starts my day off well. I can’t see telling myself “NO! You can’t have ’em!!” because I’ve found in the past, the one sure-fire way to make me do something is to tell me I can’t do it.
So far I’ve given up dairy. I’ve given up coffee (without milk, that was an easy one to do). Cheese and sour cream were hard– sour cream is, like, the Hungarian version of… like… an apple a day or something? So I’m pretty sure sour cream runs through my veins along with red wine (which I’ve tapered down to minimal amounts, only b/c organic wine isn’t that yummy and regular red makes me wheeze). I’ve discovered, thanks to veganomicon, that soft tofu can be food-processed down to some reasonable facsimile of sour cream, and if you season it with fabulousness like horseradish and dill, it’s even better!! I’ve not yet found a cheese replacement. To be honest, I don’t want to try. I feel like, when I want cheese, I’ll get something good, rich and smelly and savor it and the next-day wheeze. That’s where that whole “haphazard” element to my way of eating comes in. I don’t want to become a food zealot, setting up all kinds of barriers and divides; instead I want to strive for better health and moderation.
I’m the kind of person who will find a pleasure– say, a glass of wine– which becomes a compulsion– mmmm, I think I’ll just finish the bottle!!– that then becomes a habit –lemme just buy seven of these bottles, one for each day of the week! – As soon as the habit sets in, the pleasure becomes less pleasurable because it’s an auto-drive thing.
So with my eggs, (and now, red wine) I strive to drive the habit back to its pleasurable place.
And this morning, as I ate my scrambled eggs (mostly prepared so Kid would have a good, protein-heavy breakfast before undertaking state-wide testing at school) I lovingly bedded them on a mound of grated carrots, grated beets, and radish sprouts, and liberally doused them with that aforementioned horseradish tofu sauce. I ate that loveliness with a piece of bread and cup of chai tea and soy milk (accidentally bought soy dream instead of rice dream).
and it was good.

And so now to shift gears. I have a major project due today and I’m procrastinating. Part of my procrastination process is to find things all around me that annoy me, and so need to be done. Well, today I will try an experiment: I will rant about the things that are driving me ape shit, and once I’ve ranted, I can leave those little messes behind and focus on my “real” work (assessment interpretation, oh joy!) –here goes:

The List of Things Driving me Apeshit Today:

-full trashcan in kitchen (come on, people, is emptying that so hard?)
-full hamper in bedroom, to include wet towels that will likely get everything in said hamper musty-smelling.(arrrrrrgh)
-tabletop #1 covered in school papers, pencils, science experiments, bags, and random toys
-tabletop #2 covered in erector set detritus
-living room floor littered with fluff from the dogs’ girlfriend (a blanket we have named, simply, “bitch”)
-entry/foyer filled with shoes, dog food bag scraps, and old mail (fortunately the latter is contained)
-dishwasher filled with unrinsed dishes (do we not realize, dear family, that the food gunge will simply be baked onto dishes, necessitating a full soak/scrub by hand before a second dishwasher-washing?)
-empty drink can and pouch boxes in cart where full drink boxes should be.
-kid shoes in weird places
-kid bed needing to be changed and made
-laundry, lots of laundry.
-toothpaste funk in kid’s bathroom sink
-kid clothes strewn on many floors
-dog toys mixed in with strewn kid clothes.

I’ll leave it at that. I could rant longer, but I really do need to write this paper and do the rest of the work this assessment interpretation and administration analysis requires… (arrrrgh.)

today’s yum!

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“toothsome” (chefspeak for tough as leather) but awesome!!

I modified recipes from veganomicon for the cream sauce and the cutlets– basically made the chickpea cutlets with lentils instead of chickpeas and thai-inspired seasonings (lime, coconut milk, sriracha) plus curry powder and green onions, (cutlets are not at all gluten-free friendly, sorry GF friends!!) and then mixed the lentil “slurry” with a horseradhish dill “sour cream” sauce (fresh-grated horseradish, dill, garlic-infused olive oil, and –surprise element!– pureed tofu!) –I put the cutlets on top of fresh-grown radish sprouts and mixed spring greens, and topped the cutlets with grated carrots and grated beets.
Since I baked the cutlet last night and reheated it today, it had a tough texture but that made it kinda’ fun to eat.
Lots to chew.
Lots to taste.
Lots of yum!!

(picture will be edited in, once I figure out how to paste in instagram photos…) (<—–and a sidenote to that– I couldn’t figure out how to get instagram into my images, or how to post instagram images.  even as I managed to get the image onto pinterest…something I’ve not yet figured out how to do with my other images…   so what’d I do?  I took an old-school, with-camer-not-phone, digital picture of my meal as it was on my computer screen… et, voila!  there it sits, for all our viewing pleasure…)

everything’s different, but everything’s the same…

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A long time ago I had an online journal at diettalk.com, and the haphazard perfectionist was always in the title. The words were intended to reflect my dual personality–I’m kinda’ fly-by-the-seat-of-my-pants, and yet I’m also kinda’ perfectionistic.

So now here I am, still the same person:  still (again) battling my weight demons, still having fun dorking around with home-y stuff (although the house has changed), still at school (although now it’s a grad school program for School Psychology), and still loving my “mom” title (although the kid needs me slightly less as a ten year-old than she did as a toddler and preschooler, and the three dogs that call me that are totally different than the two we had when I first started journaling.)

I’m a different person, though, too: I have lost my father, two jobs, and a career identity that I loved.  And I’ve become physically old– I have more than 7 gray hairs, screwed up knees from a ski accident, screwed up wrists from too much homemaking when we bought this house, screwed up feet from poor footwear and the strain of extra poundage, as well as seasonal allergies and asthma, for the first time in my life (who gets the last two maladies in their 43rd year?  That’s just not right!).  In an effort to regain my “youthful vigor” (or at least to resemble a person my age) I have been consulting with a fabulous deity named Jocelyn Dubin of a swell yoga/healing studio called Nourish in Santa Cruz.  She has clued me in to all kinds of healthy foods and a new (old) way of eating that has always intrigued me: veganism.

This blog will be semi-regular dispatches from my world, in the same not-black-and-white, and never perfect style as my Haphazard Perfectionist journaling.  I hope to grow as a vegan, to share recipes and strategies and body changes as they occur (already I’ve felt shifts in energy and vitality) and track my progress as I begin to exercise more (I’ll share wod-s, if I do ’em, Pilates workouts, and  walk/run routes, when I do ’em).  I also hope to share education bits (rants about stress?) as well as craft projects, inspiration from inside and outside Tacoma (the city I love), travel plans and pics, and some images from most of the above…

Happy reading, and thanks for coming on this journey with me!