Wednesday, February 3, 2010

there are two of us talking in circles and one of us who wants to leave

Truth be told, I've tried my best, but somewhere 'long the way I got caught up in all there was to offer, and the cost was so much more than I could bear.

It's a Sarah McLachlan kind of day. It feels like everything I want to say, she has already said and so much better than I could. If you are not presently acquainted with her wordsmithing, you will be much more so soon, but I would encourage you to buy/download (legally) an album or two so you can hear her passionate, angelic voice.

I realized recently that Sarah has been singing my heart for the better part of my life - I found her, with my sister's help, when I was a Junior in high school and it was the perfect time for me to meet her (figuratively speaking, of course, though by a still unbelievable coincidence, I actually dated her cousin briefly a few months before I met my husband). Looking back, I think I had a much better adolescence than many, but when I was stuck inside of it, it felt pretty dark at times.

There have been times in my life I have had to avoid her, lest she pull me further beneath the waves of my own self-pity. There have also been times that I have sought her out, finding solace in the knowledge that someone else could give perfect wording to my deepest sorrows. There have also been times, rare though they be, where I have been able to just listen to her and hear her eloquent lyrics and perfectly guided voice. The thing that kills me is that although I have used her voice as an example of various techniques when teaching my vocal students, as well as helping to hone my own technique in certain areas, I absolutely cannot tell just by listening to her whether she has been trained or is just naturally gifted and intelligent enough to develop her own skills.

Before I move on to more uplifting (or at least entertaining) subjects, like tonight's dinner or the menu I will shop for tomorrow, I want to share some of my favorite lyrics:

The ice is thin - come on, dive in. Underneath my lucid skin, the cold is lost, forgotten. (Ice from Fumbling Towards Ecstasy)

I feel just like I'm sinking and I claw for solid ground. I'm pulled down by the undertow. I never thought I could feel so low, and Oh, Darkness, I feel like letting go. (Full of Grace from Surfacing)

But we carry on our backs the burden time always reveals in the lonely light of morning, in the the wound that would not heal - it's the bitter taste of losing everything that I've held so dear (Fallen from Afterglow - also the lyrics that started this post)

The lyrics that make up the title of this post are from Circle on the Fumbling Towards Ecstasy album. They more or less sum up the two wretched interactions I had yesterday with a colleague who is apparently so insecure about her own position that my confidence in myself intimidates her. It has been well over 24 hours, 4 glasses of wine, and several bitch sessions since this happened and I am still upset about it. Unless the stars align against me (which has been known to happen), I won't see her again until Monday and I am genuinely hoping that by that time we are able to interact with each other in a positive and constructive way. I spent a lot of energy today trying to avoid her, only to find out that, like spiders (allegedly), she is just as frightened of me as I am of her, or more so. That's too bad - I don't want to be scary, but I've spent too much of my life letting people step on me to back down again. I should not be punished for believing in myself and my abilities.

So, there's my [confusing to everyone who isn't me] pep talk. On to dinner!

It's Wednesday, so no big dinner for me and Mister. I decided to do another "use it or lose it" dinner. I took one of the two leftover Tofurky Kielbasas, quartered it lengthwise, then pretty much cubed it. I sauteed it briefly in canola oil before adding the leftover Five-Spice Roasted potatoes from dinner the other night, and then I threw in a few handfuls of frozen whole leaf spinach. Protein, starch, and greens...Seems a pretty nutritionally balanced dinner for just grabbing random [dying] leftovers from the fridge, and it went well with the Yellow Tail Cabernet Sauvignon I picked up on my way home from what was obviously a stellar day at work.

Tomorrow, I am off from work, so we get to play the fun game of trying to balance fun and productivity. I must go grocery shopping and do some laundry. I really ought to renew my drivers license. I really want to play my piano and do nothing. We'll see how much I get done. At any rate, to construct this "week's" menu, I raided a tiny tin treasure chest that I have neglected at least since the summer. I can't believe it's been that long, but I have just been so blissfully in love with my newest cookbooks, I haven't thought to look in my recipe box, despite the knowledge that it is where I store my favorite recipes.

1. Spicy Peanut Soup from a cookbook that does not seem to actually have a name...or at least not one that I bothered to record on the recipe card. It looks like fun and I'm on a serious (and probably waist-threatening) peanut butter kick right now. I know I've made it before, else it wouldn't have earned a spot in The Box, but it's been at least 6 months, probably more and I absolutely cannot remember it right now.

2. Winter Vegetable Curry by Rachael Ray. I love this recipe and I'm so mad at myself for tucking it away and forgetting about it so far this winter. This is one of the few RR recipes I can make, since it seems like most of her recipes include gratuitous amounts of fat and dead animals. Anyway, it's a really neat combination of hot and sweet and I may experiment a little and add some of my Big Tube of Harissa in place of the curry paste.

3. Mediterranean Pasta with Artichokes, Olives, and Tomatoes from my beloved Martha Stewart. This recipe is amazing - I could use up all of my A adjectives on this one (awesome, astonishing, etc). The artichoke hearts and cherry tomatoes lend a sweetness that is tempered by the intense saltiness of the kalamata olives. This is absolutely one of my favorite pasta dishes ever.

4. Chickpea Apple Curry also from Martha dear. Every single time I make this, I forget how eager apples are to absorb spices and broth and I overdo the cayenne and render dinner almost beyond my ability to eat. This amuses Mister greatly, but I would rather turn up the thermostat than sweat through dinner because my mouth is flaming. It's even funnier when I think it's a good idea to make this in the summer. I think the last time I made this my lips actually swelled. By now, you are surely wondering why I think it's a good idea to make this again. I'm planning to swap out the cayenne for my Big Tube of Harissa - I've already shown I can handle that heat. I'm also planning to veganize the recipe by subbing Silk Yogurt - don't tell Mister; I don't plan to :)

5. The Mariner's Pepperpot Soup from Sundays at Moosewood Restaurant. I love this soup - it is so savory. I love the whole cookbook and am forever indebted to my mother-in-law. This was one of the cookbooks that led to my awakening knowledge that I could actually cook.

6. Turkish Spinach and Lentil Soup also from Sundays at Moosewood Restaurant. This soup is seriously substantial, and the leftovers grow as the lentils absorb more broth. It's really quite monstrous, but so hearty and tasty. There's also an irony in feeding my Greek husband Turkish food that amuses me beyond words.

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