There are some weeks that are really sucky. Not tragic, or disastrous, or genuinely traumatizing or sympathy-deserving—just sucky. But SO SUCKY that it's hard not to be consumed by suck and to want to talk to people about that while ignoring the fact that everything you are saying is appallingly tedious.
First, my computer died. It faltered; it faded; I frantically scoured message boards for mentions of ever more obscure and random combinations of keys I could hold down at the same time on my keyboard; I erased and reinstalled the operating system. After I did that last thing, it worked for another 12 hours before collapsing even more dramatically and conclusively.
I took it to the store. The hard-drive had been "compromised." The battery had also been "compromised." So, after various complications and a number of days, they replaced both. And I reminded myself that I had good and reliable back-ups of all of my data, and that nothing ever goes wrong with that kind of thing.
And then something went wrong, and the back-ups weren't entirely accessible, and I had to move little files one by one over the course of many hours and scour my apartment for those software installation CDs I KNEW I'd put in a box with all those adaptors I still have for devices I no longer own.
And then my only remaining sharp knife snapped in two when I was trying to cut a slice of comfort Cheddar.
And then I turned around to gaze out my window in a meditative fashion, and noticed some strange, dark, giant, cobwebby things hanging from the ceiling of my balcony. "What could those be?" I wondered. "I am willing to bet they are something delightful." And I drew closer and discovered that (1) a spider had been engaged in constructing a massive series of webs out there, and (2) thousands and thousands and thousands of tiny flies had rushed over to kills themselves in it. Hanging from the ceiling of my balcony were thousands and thousands and thousands of dead flies.
After disposing of them and indulging in some small noises of distress, I washed my hands in the bathroom and thought something extremely dramatic and self-indulgent like "My God, everything is turning to shit." And AT THAT VERY MOMENT, my towel rack fell off the wall.
At that point, I retreated to the couch and did what I always do when I'm feeling discouraged (keep company with some Bridge Mixture). And my trusty cat, George, who enjoys sitting on my computer and staring at me, came over to my computer and sat on it— and in doing so, not only opened iTunes, but also pressed play on the first song in my library, which is, obviously, Aimee Mann's "One (is the Loneliest Number)."
And that brought about the magical suck-to-farce transformation, and so I did what I always do when I'm overwhelmed by no longer feeling discouraged —keep company with some Bridge Mixture.
This is going to be one of the most boring things I have ever written. I know this because it is one of the most boring things I have ever thought about writing (of course, I'm assuming I'm capable of assessing the boring-ness of my own thoughts, which is probably a stupid assumption.)
It might be one of the most boring things I have ever thought about writing—but never have I been more emotionally affected by and invested in my topic.
I made such a terrible dinner. It was genuinely awful. It was so awful, I feel as though it has spread a yucky layer of disappointment over my whole evening.
It's not even a dramatic and interesting failure. It's just that I've run out of tamari, and at some point, tamari appears to have become the foundation for all of my varied baked tofu dishes. So I keep thinking, for some reason, that because I'm now savvy enough to actually have ingredients I use for things, and recipes I've learned about those ingredients from, I can be one of those people who "improvises," and does things like substitute binder clips for capers, or inadvertently aged alcoholic cider for panko.
There's a delicious salad dressing I enjoy (that involves miso and tahini and mustard), and I thought "my background in the not-having of resourceful and successful food-related ideas makes me confident that baking tofu in this dressing would result in deliciousness." I only had medium-firm tofu, which I've used before and thought would be fine, and I just bought some cheap miso, which I was confident would not be disgusting at all, and so I used that too.
I baked it all up for a good forty minutes—I kept thinking the tofu would "firm up" given another five minutes, and yet it kept dissolving further into a giant puddle of squished grey-ish sloppiness. Aha! I thought (convinced that the one thing that would undo one misguided food plan was another food plan that would surely not turn out to have been misguided)—what this unsightly muck needs is to become fried unsightly muck.
So I fried up the tofu, and voilà! It had shape! And now also had an odd and unpleasant mealy texture!
I could have made three normal meals in the time it took to prepare this one, and I don't think I've ever eaten anything simultaneously so mushy and so salty.
I was indeed wise to stock up on frozen breaded mozzarella sticks: I will need them tonight.
POLITE DISCLAIMER: This site is intended for entertainment purposes only. If you're not entertained, fair enough.
Recently, doctors have begun to warn of the dangers of "Facebook depression." According to this article, young people can start feeling low because of repeated exposure to "status updates and photos of happy-looking people having great times."This is a problem not limited to the young, as I can attest. So many people I knew long ago have moved to exciting places, have been to parties, have visited cottages. So many people have jobs and handsome dogs and way more friends than I have. Facebook shows me this, and Facebook cares not. Then there are the blogs. Oh, THE BLOGS. My friend (who does not even live here but whose good taste defies geography) brought the following blog to my attention: www.asinkremains.com. It's written by a young woman from Toronto and features attractive, light-drenched things. There are photos of gorgeous, delectable meals (from restaurants at which, theoretically, I could also be dining as I live in the same city), and photos of relaxed but hopelessly stylish living rooms (which I could at least be working towards by way of yard sales and a keen eye for sales), and photos of attractive women in relaxed and hopelessly stylish clothes (all my pants are the same colour. Why are all my pants the same colour?). Also, why am I not accompanied everywhere by dancing motes of sunlight?This kind of blog creates in me a feeling it took me awhile to find an appropriate name for. I considered "envog" (envy + blog), and "blinferiority" (blog + inferiority) , and "bluilt" (blog + guilt), but in the end settled on "blahg." Such blogs make me feel blahg. But then I thought: "Surely there must be others who stay in on Saturday nights with their best friend Robert Osborne...who will never be comfortable pairing shorts with tights...who will never be in a position to craft their own letterpress wedding invitations..." Surely there must be others who live untidily and unstylishly and in a way that would embarrass blogs and Facebook pages alike. So to counteract the effect of the blogs that make me feel blahg, I offer the following three photos of my apartment, all totally unstaged.
1 bag of Swedish Berries (empty); 1 bottle of cheapest-available Argentinian wine (not drinking during the day - just neglected to put it away the night before); 1 copy of New York Times (largely unread)
1 bottle of wheat germ (never sure exactly how long that's supposed to last; doesn't yet have the rancid smell the internet warns me about); 1 extremely large and aged bottle of tonic from long ago when my friends came over and we had some with gin; a cucumber for my guinea pig.
1 vibrantly grey sweatshirt-like shirt I got at Old Navy; 1 vibrantly grey cardigan I got at Jacob at some point in the 1990s and continue to wear.
It's not that I want people to stop having beautiful things, and making beautiful things, and looking beautiful; it's just not nice when you think that everyone around you is living a beautiful life while you're busy throwing out some questionable leeks (that you never used because you never got around to making that quinoa recipe) while watching an NCIS episode you've already seen and didn't like the first time.
But if I could convince myself that in living rooms everywhere regrets are cultivated while leeks go bad and Mark Harmon looks weary and worldly-wise, I'm sure I'd feel a whole lot better.
POLITE DISCLAIMER: This site is intended for entertainment purposes only. If you are not entertained, fair enough.