Monthly Archives: February 2017

other stuff

As I move away from poetry, I plan to pursue other creative outlets. One idea is to write a serial blog, posting bits of a short story. Another is more music-oriented, but needs to be fleshed out more.

Even though March and the beginning of spring approaches, there’s nothing like getting sick on the last day of February.

newest poetry book

My last poetry book is out on Kindle! The paperback is available here. It’s the third and, for now, the last poetry book I’ll be publishing for a while. I’ve been trying to figure out how to get the Amazon link on the sidebar but it seems to elude me for the moment.

Thanks to all my readers and supporters of my angsty poetry.

balloons

Today skinny jeans are a trend, like leggings and jeggings. Trends that I have never cared about in the past, but have somehow recently found myself wearing them and feeling like I am living in the modern world. Even Conan wore jeggings.

Yet I must admit that I’ve always cared about being fashionable. Especially while growing up in public schools. That’s when I started to care so much about what I was wearing, to be cool.

I remember getting my first and only pair of Z Cavaricci pants. You’re thinking, “why do you admit this?” and I think the same thing.

They were black with the white label on the zipper. They were so cool. They were so expensive! I wore them often and I like to think I got my money’s worth out of them. I don’t know what happened to them after they became not-so-cool anymore. Where do old Z Cavaricci pants go to die? Goodwill? Ebay? To a third-world country? A fabric recycler? The ocean? A landfill? Do pants go to heaven or hell depending if they made the world a better place?

hole-y denim

A trend in denim jeans is having holes in them. Depending on your age, you may immediately think of the 80s-90s where holes in jeans were cool, just like big hair.

I never got into the trend of holes in jeans unless it was made naturally through normal wear and tear. Plus they cost more to have someone to cut the holes in fashionably appropriate places. So that’s a hard pass for me.

Until…I went to a clothing swap.

I was looking for some new-to-me jeans and wasn’t having much luck on finding anything that seemed remotely like my style. Towards the end of the swap I was willing to look again at the denim piles and saw these 1969 Gap jeans in really good condition. As I turned the pair around, I saw the holes and thought it was a so-close-but-no-cigar pair. But, as I said, it was toward the end of the swap and I needed to find new jeans. So I just took them home without trying them on.

I put them on and found they fit perfectly. The holes were kind of annoying and I figured I would wear them casually, in the level of formality above joggers and below jeans with no ripped anything.

But they were so comfortable and the right shade of blue that I ended up wearing them often. What made the jeans truly mine is when I got compliments on the jeans, for the holes. Suddenly, I was cool. And I’ll take that anytime. No need to reject a compliment on being fashionable.

So now I am trendy with ripped jeans. I never would have bought them in a store, and I probably never will. In that sense I am still me and that will never change.

Joggers and ripped jeans. Who am I becoming?

ducks

The prettiest duck I ever saw was in London. I didn’t know these birds existed. I like ducks in general, but they all look the same. But when I saw this duck in a London Park I was quite taken with the flashy colors. Blingy birds.

I found out they’re called Mandarin ducks and they’re not native to the UK, but are from Asia. It doesn’t matter to me since the first time I saw one was in the UK. So thanks for that, England.

shopping carts

I’ve always wondered why some people don’t put carts in the cart corrals. Some excuses could be reasoned, though not necessarily be proper etiquette:

The cart corral is too far away from my car.

I’m in a hurry and don’t have time to push the cart to the corral.

I’m not bothering with putting carts away because I’ve got screaming kids in the car.

I’m not bothering with putting carts away because I only care about me and my car.

It’s the store employees who corral carts, not me.

What’s a cart corral?

Only fools waste time putting carts in corrals.

Usually my significant other does that, not me.

It’s the wild west in parking lots; only the strong survive with carts strewn here and there, creeping towards the nearest car bumper or side, just wanting to leave a special mark for you.

Nobody showed me how to put the cart in the corral, so I don’t have to.

Whatever.

It’d be nice if there was an actual scientific poll asking about this phenomenon/nuisance.

Italy

bread :: Italy

Italy is beautiful for its art and food, at least to me. But if you go for those things, it’s good to like Renaissance-era art, because the country looks like it’s stuck there.

The gorgeous old buildings of Venice, Florence, even the lazy Pisa tower just keep me mentally in the Renaissance. And if you like that era of art, then Italy is a living art museum dedicated to Michaelangelo, Raphael, and lots of biblical art where everyone looks Italian instead of Jewish or Middle Eastern.

Michaelangelo’s David statue in Florence is really amazing to see in person. The pizza and pasta there is really delicious if you are okay with eating lots of wheat. Gelato is truly art in edible form and must be eaten at least three times while in Italy.

But one meal I really enjoyed was eating at McDonald’s in Italy. HOW COULD YOU DO SUCH A THING?!? is what you are thinking, and that was what I was thinking too.

What I was also thinking was that I was really tired of eating prosciutto and other forms of preserved pork and just wanted some beef. I was on a budget and couldn’t eat some fancy beef dish in a sit-down restaurant. I was also tired of pizza and pasta, so when I entered McDonald’s I felt like I was in an oasis of Americanness, even if everything was in Italian.

I don’t remember what I ate, maybe it was breakfast food like a McMuffin or biscuit, but it tasted really good. And I don’t regret it.

I was also glad to finally leave Italy after seeing all the art I wanted to see. Everything I saw in a book I saw in real life and it was pretty awesome. But I was really glad to leave and go back to the only European country I would ever like to call home, France.

bread

Last time I talked about nutritional yeast; today will be about bread.

Mmmmmmmm…bread. I like bread. I love bread. All kinds, like plain ol’ white bread, wheat bread, hot dog bread, hamburger bread, artisan bread, baguettes, ciabatta, sourdough, flatbread, cornbread. And all the other varieties you like, I probably like too.

But I can’t eat these delicious breads because of the wheat factor. Darnit. Oh, but you can eat cornbread, can’t you? It’s made from corn, not wheat.

Not totally true. Even cornbread has more wheat flour than cornmeal in it. It’s actually a combo of wheat and corn. There’s the rub!

So I look at bread from afar and try to remember the texture and taste of just-toasted bread. The crunchy crust, the melting of butter on warm toast, the smell of baked goodness, the chewy middle.

The latest season of Netflix’s Chef’s Table has an episode for a local chef known for founding La Brea Bakery. The bread there is very good, even though it’s all industrialized now. But the episode is a lovely story about food and a person’s love for making something extraordinary out of something ordinary.

If I had the work ethic of a chef, I might have been a chef, but the reality is that I like to eat food more than making food. And when it comes to bread, I have to look at it and not eat it. Sad, but not sad.

The great thing about today is the variety of wheat alternatives available. If this was 10 years ago and I knew I couldn’t handle wheat, then it would have been sad. But then, maybe I would have become a chef, having to make my own wheat alternatives? I might have been a lot healthier back then, too. Now we’ll never know, and it really doesn’t matter.

nutty for the nooch

I’m trying new things these days. The local grocery store had a big sale on Bragg products. I use apple cider vinegar regularly and the sale was better than the online prices so I stocked up. Then one day I was reading the weekly grocery store mailer (the digital one; I ironically tossed the paper and then found and read the digital version) and saw that all the Bragg products were on sale and it had a little photo of all their products, which included their liquid aminos and the nutritional yeast.

Since finding out about how soy sauce has gluten, I’ve been sad to not be able to eat many foods that have soy sauce in it. I’ve got tamari soy sauce, but I’ve been curious about the liquid aminos.

In the past I’ve associated liquid aminos with the old-school hippie Whole Foods patrons, not the yuppie WF patrons. And they were crazy vegetarians or vegans, and I never considered even trying it. Does “liquid aminos” sound remotely appetizing? Let alone “nutritional yeast?” Obviously these non-food labeled foods were marketed to people who didn’t care about eating delicious food or delicious-sounding food.

But coming off my bone broth cleanse and seeing the big sale I decided to try both those things. What is wrong with me? Gluten is what’s wrong with me. And I was curious.

The liquid aminos actually aren’t that bad at all, so while I like the product, I still hate the name.

But the nutritional yeast, that’s a different story.

I love it.

But the name is still lame.

It’s really good on popcorn. And in soup. I put it in my homemade rice noodle ramen that’s my mash up of random veggies in broth. It does have a nutty, cheesy smell and flavor, but not the consistency of cheese, unfortunately.

But the best thing is to eat the “nooch” with cheese, so I get the cheese but also the nuttiness of the nooch that also has tons of B-vitamins. It really does add a lot of nutrition with almost no sodium, yet it tastes salty. So it’s good to not be vegan and nosh on the nooch.

random fact

Did you know that if you take hot showers the steam can shrink the gaskets of your shower door hinge, therefore making it difficult to open that door, even causing the tempered glass to chip when you try to open the door? And the solution is to change out the gasket with a new one and include a shim so if the gasket shrinks again in the future the door will still have clearance to open because of that little shimmy thingy, saving you from flying chipped glass and writing a check for a repair.

Happy Saturday.