Vacation Pandemic – Day 3 & 4

Yesterday, while at the store I stood in an aisle looking for something. I noticed an older man watching me from the end of the aisle. Once I had found what I had been looking for, I grabbed it and walked past him. I noticed him then hurry down the aisle to find his own items.

It felt as though he had been glaring at me. No one has been outright rude to me, but I can’t help feeling higher amounts of judgement..

We drove through town, taking notice of all the places still open. Places desperately remaining open, places stubbornly remaining open. People are trying to survive. And ironically, while in an attempt to physically survive this pandemic, people are losing sight of basic survival needs…

We went to the store again today. It’s hard to stop needing things. It is a state of mind I am not used to. That Costco trip mentality. We walk into the store and dried pastas, dried beans, frozen veggies… depleted. Sensible. Sensible items if you’re going to survive the end of the world…

And for as many zombie movies as I watch, disaster movies about all electric power shutting off, post apocalyptic survival movies… it’s easy to say you’d know what to do. But I really don’t. I don’t have a means to set myself up for that.

Instead I joke that I’m resigned to being one of the first to die. I need too much food.

Ironically is my father’s community title. Head of the Disaster Preparedness Committee.

So I’ll continue to live day by day… I don’t know any other way. I will continue to live paycheck to paycheck, buying groceries as I need them. I will continue to go to work, because I work in a hospital. I will continue to go to bed at night, and wake in the mornings…

The small coffee shop that uses the pink breast cancer awareness paper cups was still open. We blessedly went in. The woman behind the counter seemed either high on caffeine, or high on hand sanitizer fumes. But extrordinarily friendly. Giving us more cookies than we’d asked for and pretending it was an accident.

Because, during these times, we can’t forget to be good to each other… we have surely failed as humans, if in the middle of all of this, we forget that..

Vacation Pandemic – Day 2.5

Don’t Kiss Me, Even Though I’m Irish..

I cook because it is the only thing that can fully occupy my mind. Even more so than reading a great book. I always play music. I think it helps fill the negative space. While I work, self soothe.

It’s St. Paddy’s Day. The world is encouraging “social distancing.” What a slap in the face for perhaps the most social holiday, second to Mardi Gras. But these are Pandemic Times.

I choose not to mix the cake dough by hand. While generally it is a good way to work off a stressful day at work, it also leads to much over mixed dough, and in turn, dense ass cake. Today, I use the kitchenaide, keeping it on a gentle spin, just enough to mix. In the background, my attempt at Irish(ish) Folk music fails. The Loreena McKennit station begins playing tracks from Last of the Mohichans, the song from a Christmas movie I haven’t seen in decades, and then some Pachelbel Canon a la The Scottish Royal Dragoon Guards bagpipe band. It’s actually really good.

I research and scratch out lentil recipes while the cake bakes. I don’t even like lentils, but… these are Pandemic times..

I can’t stop from taking a nap. I nap always. I joke that I am half cat, but actually I really am tired all the time. My doctor recently changed my meds. Taking away the fatigue inducer in replacement of one more… ass kicking. In turn, also taking away the med that helped with the chronic back pain. A fortunate side effect. My back has been hurting all day.

I crack open a beer, saving the Guinness for dinner. The Corned Beef has been bubbling in the pot. I boil potatoes and saute some cabbage and leeks in butter and garlic. Colcannon. I mix whiskey, ketchup, and soy sauce. Some odd, but delicious glaze. I pour an extra splash of whiskey into the measuring cup and take a sip. It might be more than a spash. But it’s St. Paddy’s Day and tomorrow the world might end.

The dwarves of Middle Earth begin singing their haunting mountain song. Dwarves singing. While not entirely an Irish classic… I don’t really know what to expect from this station.

I toss some broccoli florets in oil, garlic, and salt, then throw it in a high heat oven. Roasted broccoli, a gamble, but while my back is turned, I stir a pot of cheese sauce. Surely even cheese sauce can give the scortched broccoli redemption.

A quick 10 minutes in the oven for the whiskey glaze to get friendly with the beef, and it’s all done. No boiled cabbage or carrots. The meat is tough from unsupervised aggressive boil while I took a nap. But shit, we can’t all be perfect.

Besides.

These are Pandemic times, and tomorrow the world might end.

Ps: The cake wasn’t dense.

Vacation Pandemic – Day 2

Thoughts on a Lonely Day.

My New Years Shmoo Years resolution was simply to make change. Stop being so stagnant in my own life.
I admit I woke up one day with the crazy notion that maybe I could be a lawyer. My parents always said I was stubborn as an ox, and loved to argue. But more importantly, my desire lies in helping and advocating for people. The seed of the idea was planted and I loved it.
But reality seemed to sink in some. And, the way someone mentions a car, and suddenly you see that car everywhere… Suddenly all these movies and tv shows popped up. And I wasn’t so sure I liked the depiction of the lawyers. Worst yet, they were all true stories.
One case that I believe is controversial among law folks anyway, was the case of Robert Garrow. A serial killer the defending attornies knew they’re only chance for him was an insanity plea. The controversy happened when he told his lawyers where he buried 2 missing girls. They went to check the validity of his story, and found the girls.
At this point, the lawyers were placed in a difficult position. Bound by attorney-client priviledge, they had to keep the location of the bodies a secret, as they were truthfully, no longer at risk of harm or death. At one point the father of one of the victims approached one of the lawyers and implored him to just tell him if he knew anything. He was told that there was nothing they could tell him.
In other situations, I watched as attorneys became so focused on simply winning the case, that they actually began to lose sight of the actual crime, and whether or not their client was actually guilty or innocent.
As a born caregiver, it is shocking and disheartening to see this. This is indeed the way the world works. But I find myself scared to begin down that path. I find myself scared of losing the humanity and empathy that makes me the great caregiver I am.
I have always had a strong interest in crime, and innocence, and above all, mental health. I had thought that becoming a lawyer might be the best and strongest way to advocate for them. But I honestly cannot say what I would do, were I placed in a situation of defending a client’s innocence, when they were very obviously guilty.  I don’t know.

Vacation Pandemic – Day 1

I remember a time, not long ago, I woke up thinking I was in a dream. Surely any moment I would wake up and it would all be over, surely we didn’t elected Trump as our nation’s president…

I woke up this morning after being awake for nearly 20 hours, after 8 hours of work, then driving 277 miles in 4 hours and 40 minutes. I woke up thinking I was in a dream, and that any moment I would wake up.

But time keeps ticking, and I slowly realize that my eyes are really open. There is no waking from this. No number of dystopian novels, or zombie movies can really prepare you for this. This thing that happens on your TV screen, not outside your door. But the truth is, we are in a pandemic. And I watch as it spills outwards, ripples off of a dropped stone into a pond. I watch as it oozes closer, erupted lava, and we are running out of pillows to jump on. There is no where to run.

I still find myself laughing a little on the inside, who says things like that and really means it? But I close my eyes and all I see is Jason Voorhees coming towards me at his slow, but inevitable pace, machete full of virus…

But what really scares me, is the madness, the hysteria around me. The store shelves stripped empty by fear. Thoughtless fear. People buying the bandaids, but not the Neosporin. People shunning Asians as if each one of them carries the leper virus. Avoiding their shops and restaurants and forgetting that Asians once put their blood, sweat, and tears into helping build this country.

I find myself shaking, twitching, just trying to flick the remnants of this bad dream off and try to get back to my life. But the world is shutting down around me. Schools closing for the safety of our youth. Businesses trying to stay strong, to be a source of comfort and normalcy for people, slowly dropping like flies. Highway traffic tapering off to trickles. The world is shutting down around me. Like in Hollywood videos, when the power to a large city gets shut off. You watch the town from some high vantage point, maybe a birds eye view, as sections go dark, one. by. one. Until all there is is darkness. And silence.

Four years ago I woke up to a newly divided nation. Angry. So much anger and hatred bubbled to the surface. And there was fear. Fear of our own safety, fear of our neighbor, fear of our own president. And I didn’t believe that things could get worse.

Today I woke up to a shattered nation. Fear. We are afraid of our very selves. And to some extent, I think, afraid of what could come next.

I drove up to my parent’s place to spend my days off. Sometime during the drive it seemed, this town shut down as well. It, at first, felt almost pointless to be up here. But the truth is, the situation is no better at home. And at times like this, I would rather spend it with loved ones, than by myself, in true isolation.

The Life and Times of Rose


The Suspicious Package…

I’ve never been one to get super creeped out by the idea of my phone really watching and listening to me. But I’ve begun feeling a little creeped out that it is actually reading my mind…


Saw my doc on Tuesday and had him put in some refills on scrips for me. Usually they arrive to me in a day or two. No worries. Except I was quickly running out of meds and leaving town at the end of the week. Crisis mode when on Saturday night, I still hadn’t gotten my meds and was leaving the next day (today). I knew they were coming as my bank acct had been charged for them. I begged my friend to diligently check the mail while I was gone and then express mail them to me. Sunday comes and I hopefully check the mail one last time before leaving town.

Nothing.

I drove out of town wondering if I’d survive if I went down to half tabs for a while…


I arrived at my parents place, unloaded, fed the kids, put my jammies on, looked over at a suspicious, lumpy package…


😱WTFfffffffff?!?!??!


A: How did my pharmacy know I was going to be out of town?!

B: How does my pharmacy know my parents address?!

I honestly can’t remember it without looking it up. I don’t think I even have their address listed as an emergency contact… address. And I did not recite my own or any address to my doc while he was refilling the scrips, as he has refilled many, and I should be on file. At my house…

😱

I’m ooked out. I don’t even know if I want to take these meds!

February Food Fest

Black Foods

(And White)

This February, I decided to try a food colour challenge. I was intrigued by the idea of Black food, either in true colour, or in name. I also found that alot of the Black went kind of hand in hand with White. Black Truffle, White Truffle. Black Sesame Seeds, White Sesame Seeds. Or how Black Cod, is a White fish. Black Radish, is white inside.

Grilled Miso Glazed Black Cod (majority of glaze in the side), over Black Radish Puree with Black Truffle Salt, and dollop of Black Caviar
Blackened Halibut, with Beluga Lentil and Black Grape salad
Squid Ink Pasta, in a White Wine Cream Sauce, and Seared Scallops


Roasted Black Chicken, with Pinot Noir and Blackberry Sauce, over Black Rice Risotto
Honey Rosemary Roast Pork Loin, with Black Grape Olive Brandy Sauce, over Black Truffle Goat Cheese Polenta
Sort of a Persian Lentil Soup… Black Beans, Black Lentils, White Corn, White Onion, Black Lime, Sumac… over rice…

There were also some Black desserts too…

Black Forest Cake
Black Currant Lambic Beer Float, with Vanilla Icecream
Black Plum and Fig Frangipane Tart with Rosemary Shortbread Crust
(ended up overbaked…)
Nuff said

What was most difficult about this challenge was making an actual meal. It was one thing to research and list out various black foods. But it was entirely another to conceive of ways to make them work together into something palateable. It actually took me months to do. And with the exception of some over baking, and some under sauced noodles, I think I did really well.

It makes me want to attempt another colour theme food challenge. And some day I still might.

Black Cherry Jam on toast

The Life and Times of Rose

Work Parking Lot:

The students are back. They descend upon our parking lot like new born crabs, scuttling under foot. Minus a care in the world or a shred of value for their lives.
The car next to me is close. Like, so close I curse the amount of food I ate last night as I unceremoniously shimmy into the drivers seat and shut the door behind me.
A student walks past my car in the passenger side. As I put my key in the ignition, I hear a thunk, and look up to see my side mirror flipped in towards the door.
While looking at it, I see a hesitant body move back towards my car. A youthful face peers into the window at me. I know full well I am giving him a look. A look notorious to my face to be titled The Look. An irritated eyebrow might be raised, a narrowing if the eye lids, an intensity within the eyes to melt glaciers. Or some such thing, I’ve never seen The Look myself.
The student gives me a wide eyed, awkward smile. He apologizes and flips the mirror back into place. He even takes the time to give it a little wipe before he hurries off.
I start my car, shimmy it out of its spot, and slowly inch out of the parking lot, dodging baby crabs the whole way.