Thursday, December 13, 2007

And why not?

Pictured above is a delightful bowl of chocolate pudding. Coconut chocolate pudding to be exact. It looks yummy. It probably is. This morning, however, I did not eat a bowl of chocolate pudding like that one. Instead, I walked down to the employee kitchen and quickly grabbed a little plastic container from the fridge. I had been eyeing these containers for about two weeks now, contemplating if I would ever get desperate enough to eat one. Inside the kindergarten sized cup held three spoonfuls of Publix Fat Free Chocolate Pudding. I hadn't grabbed one until today for several reasons. First, I wasn't sure if they were for the taking. Although they didn't have a name on them and most things in the employee fridge with no name are open season, I thought maybe someone forgot to label them and so I dismissed them. But as the days went by and they didn't diminish I figured it would be okay. I secondly did not jump at the chance to take them because frankly anything that it fat free usually makes me wince. The idea makes me wince and the taste even more. Fat free chocolate seems like a sin. Yes, in the "ooh these are sinful" sort of way but reverse. I digress. I thirdly did not take one because they were from Publix, and while I like Publix as much as any grocery store I usually don't eat generic chocolate.

But today I was hungry and fiending for choco-treat (remember me, St. Chocolate?). I walked right down there and grabbed one. I scurried back to my office and ate the three spoonfuls. And it was good. Damn good. I was surprised how much it tasted like real chocolate pudding and how satisfied I was while eating it. Pudding has a distinctly pudding taste. Must be the egg yolks. I don't know. It's the same way with Lemon Curd, Custard and Mayonaise. Yep, egg yolk and in this case, most likely egg yolk substitute. But who cares, it was super yum. And I'm thinking about getting another one.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

48 hours of magic

i don't know why i woke up feeling like a tired, beige mouse today, because (aside of my tiger daughter waking up every 45 minutes to growl and stretch last night) the last 48 hours have been deemed with magic.
it all started on my monday night run. i left the house at 5:15, which gives me just enough time these days to run our 2.5 mile loop before the trail fades into darkness. about halfway up the first hill (which is the first part of the run...still on our land)i heard birds screeching and chirping and making noises that were more banshee than bird. i actually stopped to look around at the top of the hill. i noticed what appeared to be thousands of birds in the trees. and at the same time that i was having a flashback of Hitchcock's "The Birds" that my husband had recently rented from our local video store, the real birds began randomly noise diving down toward the forest floor. all in all i noticed six of them do this. they were not true kamikazees, never actually hitting the ground, but instead swooped back up at the last minute. i had never seen bird behaviour like this before. i decided to start running again.

after about two more minutes of run a huge grey owl cascaded from the top of a loblolly pine tree and flew five feet in front of me. i could feel the rush of air from it's wings on my face. owl scent. it eventually landed on a high branch of a silver oak tree and turned its beaky face toward me. i kept running. next two minutes i smell burning hair. yep. human hair. it dissipates and then returns two seconds later. then goes again. i can't help but think of twin peaks.

by the time i make it out to the river ridge, with the last of the sun fading behind earth song (a retreat center run by an old hippy social worker), i am overwhelmed with a feeling that is hard to name. frenzied, electrified, magickified, aghast? a sense that there is something happening in the universe that i should pay attention to and that is being communicated through primeval criaturas. out of my peripheral vision there are feral squirrels squirreling about in every which way. jumping on the trunks of trees with nuts in their mouths. scurrying underneath leafy alluvium.

i keep on running and my mind drifts to the red clay field, that only six months ago held the promise of sweet corn. and now is dirt again, but only after all of the corn was scorched by sun and drought. i get lost in nostalgia of the corn fields that surrounded my undergraduate university. i remember the smoky blue flowers that bloomed in the spring. and as their scent lingered in my memory, i hear a "HOO HOO", look up and find another grey owl peering down at me from the forest canopy. this time i get it. i don't get it on a conceptual level, but something deeper happens. and i'm still reeling from it. when i get home i tell my husband of these occurrences.

yesterday evening the magic continued. my tiger daughter (featured above) has learned to crawl. she is only six months. she is rocking her world, my world and her father's world and she is revved up with some special blend of wise, cute, more than meets the eye, with a dash of danger and a helluva lot of courage. she's trying to climb on everything. i walked into the bedroom and found her standing in her crib with a huge, prideful smile on her face. i took her into the living room to tell her pa of these events and found him outside pumping up our car tires with air, dancing to buena vista social club. it was lovely. we went inside, made marinara from scratch, drank champagne in celebration of our baby's accomplishments and of the fact that life is so grand and full of surprises.

ahh. this helped reinvigorate me. RARRRR!

Thursday, December 6, 2007


is it possible to have the thursday morning mullygrubs? i woke today feeling less than inspired, less than energetic and wishing for someone or something to come and rescue me from my mercurial winter blues. it's been almost six months since the birth of my daughter and i still feel my hormones are out of whack, sending me on emotional journeys into parts of my psyche that are dusty and dank. motherhood is many things wondrous and it is also a wake-up call to any unfinished childhood business. it shakes out the rug of insecurity and i watch historical particles float in front of me, tempting me to get involved. and i just want to lay low. it's hard. my life calls me outward, mainly through my daughter. because i try to be and most times am a conscious parent i put effort in showing up fully for her. her needs are immediate and i immediately tend to them. and i don't mind doing this. because i love her. and i like her. but i'm constantly being brought out. and sometimes i just want to be in. in with my thoughts, my fantasies, hopes and dreams for the future. in with my private world, my individual mind, my un-motherness. sometimes i just want to be with my husband wasting away an afternoon over coffee and playful banter. walking around New York City, disappering into the masses.

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

What in the world do the above images have to do with one another you ask? Surprisingly they go by the same name...Tundra. And it is no secret that the people who ride in the second image have never been to (and most haven't even heard of) the first image. In addition to that people that drive around in the second image are pretty much shooting the polar bears and blow torching the snow in the first picture, as their vehicle TUNDRA sucks petroleum right out of the ground, pumps it back into the air and chokes out ecosystems. They are also the people who continually vote to drill oil right out of the white ursidae's environs, disturbing their cubs and endangering the survival of other species as well.

I'm going to have to go ahead and say that the people that drive Tundras are evil. I had two encounters this morning with two Tundrae and they were both ominous. The first was a big, black tundra parked forbodingly at the end of our driveway. Signaling that "the man who kills deer" is out and about and that if I even think about hiking or running in the woods today I have to wear my orange safety vest so Tony doesn't think I'm a Odocoileus virginianus and kill me. I don't like wearing the vest for a number of reasons, but mainly because it makes me feel like prey and it also reminds me that lame people are moving in on pristine territory.

My second encounter with Tundra folk was as I entered the parking lot to a local coffee shop, in an attempt to get some soy chai. I drove in with care and properly signalled that I was going to take the last parking spot. I got there in plenty of time, when, out of nowhere, a navy blue tundra flew into the parking lot, cut me off and took my spot. He didn't even flinch or pause. And he got out of his vehicle, yacking through his cyborg earpiece, looking bloated and meat-filled, grabbing his jeans out of his crack. Gross. When I finally got another spot and went into the shop, "Tony #2" was broadcasting his banal conversation to everyone in the place. It became clear that he was some sort of micro-manager for some marketing company. blargh. bluck. He probably did market research on the name Tundra and found that people really like driving vehicles named after places they will eventually destroy. Status.

As I drove into work I counted several more addition to some Denalis, Foresters, Saharas, and Tahoes.

Monday, December 3, 2007

I am St. Chocolate and Other Delights

St. Francis of Assisi was the patron saint of animals. He was also the patron saint of ecology. His image is depicted, most times, with birds circling his head. He dwelled in and among all things natural and was most humble. Saint Nicholas, the patron saint of children, had a knack (as we know)for gift giving. But Nick was never officially canonised, although his legend evolved (especially for good little girls and boys who believed). I like both of these guys. They took their devotion and spread joy with it, they did things that people (any people) could really get behind, I mean who's not behind presents, animals and children? If I were a patron saint, I would be the patron saint of chocolate and other sweet things. I would place Lindt milk chocolate squares on the passenger seats of cars stopped at red lights. I would put dark chocolate sprinkles in people's coffee at the creamer station. I would flit about (in sugar plum fairy fashion) and leave tokens of milky, creamy, chocolately goodness whereever I could, to brighten people's days. To remind them that one simple square of cocoa goodness can really change your perspective on things. With a piece of divinity in your mouth everybody's your friend, passersby wave to you and you wave back, traffic seems workable, fun even. Co-workers stories about the weekend seem important and interesting. And work, ah work becomes a place that you look forward to. At least that's what happened to me when I remembered I had secretly placed two of my left-over chocolates in the bag that I take to work and put one in my mouth. I started writing this blog with its' goodness melting in my mouth. I patronised myself with my saintly sweet good gift. Yay for me.