Short.

I have a lot planned for today.

Cleaning:

  1. Pick up laundry. 
  2. Put up clean laundry.
  3. Pick up trash.
  4. Strip the entire bed.
  5. Clean the mattress.
  6. Straighten up shelves.
  7. Dust all dust-ables (including the walls).
  8. Freshen the carpet (baking soda).
  9. Scrub down the bathroom.
  10. Sort out sink-cabinet contents.
  11. Burn incense.

That should be it. Short post, but I will be absent for a bit.

Where there is Food and Family, there is Love.

1. Many of our fondest memories are associated with food. Describe a memorable experience that took place while preparing or eating food. 

My first response when I read this was this laughter.

Do you mean: my whole life? Seriously, my whole life, cooking has been there. I was o my mothers hip when she cooked, I was around my sisters when they started learning to cook, and then when I started to cook. Cooking has been a huge part of my life. It saved my family for losing our house and it is pretty much associated or been a part of every good memory in my life. I can’t write about just one memory because it would do a disservice to all of the other fantastic memories.
All of the times we couldn’t sit up straight or had to put out hands over our mouths to keep food in because we were laughing too hard. All of the times we cooked something for one another when one of us wasn’t feeling well or was depressed. Food, in my family, is a show of love so I don’t have just one memory–I have my life. I have the hundred of inside jokes and recipes. I have the times sitting on the porch in the Texas sunshine with my brother and sister after a day of cooking. I have the new recipe discoveries and the love for the old favorites.
For me and for my family, where there is food we have made, there is love and laughter. There are memories.

  24 DSC_9245 DSC_9389 DSC_9757 soup roast chicken setting lemons pho

How I met Patricia.

2. Write about a chance meeting that has stayed with you ever since.

This chance meeting is funnier and in all honesty, she has changed me just as much as I have changed her. Patricia. Four years ago, almost. I wrote an entry in my online diary and that is how I met her. She commented on it. Here is the actual entry, edited a bit for an easier read.

    So Lets start at the very beginning: I was cleaning out my bathtub drain because apparently there was so much hair that it was stopping up the drain. Disgusting I know. The smell was awful, there was so much hair that I could–I am serious–make a wig. After getting every last hair possible, I cleaned my bathroom, bathtub etc. I felt so dirty and gross afterwards that I wanted to take a shower. So I turned on the shower and got distracted. Now for you to understand how in the world I could possibly flood my bathroom floor without using the tub, I must tell you. My shower head and its handle apparently think it’s hilarious to swivel, oh no, not towards the tile wall, but to the bathroom floor. So, I essentially flooded my bathroom floor because 1) I got distracted and forgot about the shower and 2) because I have a cheap-ass shower handle; it turned and BAM!When I saw this I freaked, but didn’t scream nor just stand here. I ran to the garage, got the shop-vac, and Guess what I saw heading back up stairs? (We have two stair cases, I took the front ones. When I had the shop-vac I took the back stairs.) That’s right, I saw the tile floor covered in water and the ceiling literally dripping wet in some places. It wasn’t like the whole entire ceiling was sopping wet, only a few spots.  I tired to vac the floors, but stopped and thought best if I told Mom. She wasn’t horribly angry, just said, “Oh, fuck.” She told me to run upstairs and shop-vac that first, so I did. Both Mom and I were amazed by how fast it moved. It took some time and it worked. The ceiling stopped dripping and my carpet was some-what dry. I brought the shop-vac down-stairs and while Mom shop-vac’ed I got a towel and dried as much as I could. Mom said our only worry is mold. She said it should dry, but I would have to Clorox my room and open windows–actually I don’t have any windows–I have a huge glass door– every day. It would be dangerous to not open your window-door because the mold will get you sick. I wouldn’t have any qualms about this if I had a screen to my door. I don’t and I live in Texas; it’s summer…. bugs.. lots of bugs.

That entry was how I met my cross-generation-twin Patricia and I am glad I flooded my floor.

1. Being trapped in a confined environment can turn an ordinary experience into a powder keg. Write about a thing that happened to you while you were using transportation; anything from your first school bus ride, to a train or plane, to being in the backseat of the car on a family road trip.

 

I don’t have anything spectacular to write about that happened all at once but I do have one trip that was a succession of events that made for an interesting trip.  In this particular story I was headed to see my sister, Rachael, in Pennsylvania. It was also the first time I’ve ever flown alone. It was sort of fun… Sort of.

5:00 am.

The air port is pretty empty.
The woman in front of me, I swear, I thought her and her guy were going to have good-bye sex right there. Luckily they didn’t and then it was my turn and he asked how old I was,
“I’m sixteen.” I say, glad that it was a easy question. If he asked my Social ( I know he wouldn’t, but I was thinking he might at the time) or something, I would have been screwed. I get passed him then I get to the Grouchy Security Lady and I nearly gawked at her because she wants my jacket in one of those security tubs and my shoes in another box. My bag? Unless it has a laptop, no box. Lady, what the hell? I’ve been to this airport and I have seen more ethical, happier, and brighter Security Crayons than you.  Southwest? Put everything in in one box if you can.  She was also he kind of person who gave orders in increments.  Just tell me all at once and don’t mumble.
Southwest: the happy airline.

Once I make it out of Security, I find my gate easily and sit there for a while ogling the Odwalla drinks and bars. I finally get up, determining that my flight won’t leave when I move my butt. I get a bar and a drink. I feel better and stat reading Under the Dome. It’s good, but slow like most of Stephen Kings books so it’s not working to hold my attention. I keep reading because I am stubborn.
When my plane starts to board I am momentarily worried and irritated with how they board.
How am I supposed to do this? F8? ‘Numbers ten and up’? Does every letter of the alphabet have ten seats? Or is every letter one seat or row?
I go with numbers ten and up. I find my seat and it’s a window–yes. I see my seat partner and he is a mildly chubby man in a floral shirt with a chain link bracelet–his watch was on his other hand–and he was listening to Beyonce.  He also had an iphone and a blackberry, but  unlike every other zealot, he had a Dell Notebook that was black and most likely a 06-07 model. I saw the Vista sticker and this definitely wasn’t a newer model.
I find the set up odd. I am sixteen, reading Stephen King wearing a pink Antones (blues club), blue sparkly Converse (which got some attention from Pilots), LA Ink sweatpants (I didn’t know, I just liked the design) and listening to Depeche Mode. I don’t have everything spread everywhere like he does, and I listen when they say,
“Please turn off all portable electronics.” He does not. He keeps listening. He doesn’t make any attempt toward conversation and neither do I. He doesn’t even look at me. He actually looks straight past me into my window. Still avoids my gaze. I know it can’t be my boobs because they are hidden in my Cambridge sweater. However, I take off my sweater because it was getting a little warm–he notices. Of course. Now you ask if I mind all of your stuff everywhere. So, a 26-inch waist and DD’s interest you? How funny.
I am glad when the trip is over and I land in Newark. My hip is hurting and so is my nose. Plane smells. People smells. Nasty drink and food smells. And someone is sick. Or going to be. When I get off the plane and into the air-port I ask a Continental Lady where my gate is because my pass doesn’t say. She tells me it’s gate 114. I’m at gate 86. I go and start speed walking to my gate and, yes, a few laugh when I continue my speed walk on a moving side walk. I don’t care because all of them, honestly, looked like Humans on Display. Blank faces and zombie-like.
As I am walking I realize my tampon is on it’s last legs. Oh, joy. Wait. Oh, shit. I walk faster and find my gate and I find the nearest bathroom.
Once back to my gate, I find it’s moderately filled with little league baseball boys. Since they talk quite loud I determine some things: they’re quite dull, several of their names, several of their phone numbers, and that they are forgetful–that bit was thanks to their coach. Good going, coach. While I wait I listen to the Gate Calls,

“Mr. Gordan your non-stop flight to Beijing is boarding, please go to gate 78.” They said this thirty times and I was about to go look for Mr. Gordon myself. I was sitting alone, contemplating this when I small and I mean small–thin,  crush-able looking body–girl sat some seats away from me. She had the average hair butchering: emo hair cut, sandy blond, and fake high-lights. She must have woke up this morning and decided that wearing all gray was awesome. Gray skinny jeans, gray converse that were attached to feet that wouldn’t stop movinggray wolf shirt with red rhinestones for the eyes, and she was kind of gray skinned herself. I couldn’t determine her height until the plane started boarding and when we did… Guys, compared to me, she looked ten. She couldn’t have been, though. Her face was more mature. She was tiny and she made me look twenty-six. Her face all made-up and shit with bright little eyes and scar free skin. While I have shadows, discoloration, darker eyes, dark hair and no make-up. Her mother then arrives, making her seem even younger and smaller. I then find out she has a birdie like voice; oh, boy.
Once we bored the plane I find that I am in the very first seat–1A. I am on a very small plane with a lot of very loud boys. The Flight Attendant gave me an apologetic smile.
My hip drove me crazy. I couldn’t hold a position for more than a minute. Literally.
The flight it finally over and I walk into PA Air-port with one last thought,

“I hate people.”

Root Rot.

B: Tell the story about something interesting (anything!) that happened to you, but tell it in the form of an instruction manual (Step 1, Step 2, Step 3….)
Step 1:
I don’t have an interesting thing I want to focus on. A million things bounce around my head reading those words.
Step 2:
my mind focuses on the one thing I can’t talk about. Focuses on the flashbacks that bubble up like sewage–the memory, the feel, the betrayal. How ripped to shreds I felt afterwards, like my world was impacting on itself and leaving nothing but a shaking and terrified thing in its wake.
I felt like I was nothing. Nothing more than to be hurt and used. Why was a such a fool? Did this really just happen to me?
“No, no, no, no, no… please let this be another nightmare. Oh, please let me wake up. Please let the pain go away. Please, please, let this be a dream–don’t let this be real.” I thought and as the pain got worse, I knew it wasn’t a dream, and I wanted to scream, cry, rage, and run away. I didn’t. I literally just curled up into a ball. I pulled my knees to my chest, my fingers knotted in my hair as if that would make this go away, and I began to shake. My whole body and my head at the same time–no, no, no.
Step 3:
For the next couple of days, I was hollow. I did my best to not let it show. Yet, it felt and still feels as if everyone can see straight through me. I’m becoming invisible, though, to myself. I don’t know who I am anymore. I feel that all I am now is that one horrifying memory. That one day, I’ll scream, be torn apart by its surfacing and yet, I feel like I’m rotting from the inside out.

– The Tale of the Pink Lady –

A:Tell a story about a time you got drunk before you were legally old enough to do so.
B:Tell a story set at your first job.

A) I’ve never been drunk but I drink and I don’t do it to get drunk, I drink for flavor. I just don’t see the point in getting drunk. I already do stupid things when I’m sober.

B) Oh. My first job was truly out of necessity because it was my family’s (and the four—mom, older sister, brother and I ran it) catering/wedding/event planning company. When I say we ran the business, we were literally the workers; cooking, set-up/break-down/cleaning/serving. It is not an easy job. Sometimes we’d use our house as a venue for wedding receptions and the twenty acres it sits on. So, the story….

– The Tale of the Pink Lady –
“Jake, Cissy!” Sash, my older sister called. She was in a bathrobe holding something in her hand. We, my mom and us three, had just finished another fifteen hour day. We had been pulling those for three weeks leading up to this wedding, which was tomorrow. A wedding we celebrated getting because it payed ten grand—we could relax about finances for a bit. We had done large, even larger than, events like this one but they didn’t require such a bitch of a menu and served seating.
I was fifteen and exhausted, but proud, because how many fifteen-year-olds could even pull hundred-and-five hour work weeks? Well, anyway. I got out of my bed, grumbling, and seeing Sash and Jake, I asked,
“What?” They looked at me and Jake held up pills. That didn’t help.
“Calms Forte. Take four and go to bed now. We’re going to need all the sleep we can get.” She pressed four of the tiny pills into my hand. Calms Forte was a natural sleep aid but I had read the bottle once and it warned about taking too many. I wasn’t normally one to take note of what the warnings say because half the time they are ridiculous. I take four Advil normally, not the one that they recommend after calling your doctor.
“Are you sure we can take this many? The bottle…” Sash shook her head and so did Jake.
“I’ve taken this many before. It’s okay. You’ll be fine.”
“Okay.” I said slowly. “Thanks. Well, uurah, see you guys tomorrow.”
We said out goodnights and headed back to our rooms. My room was a faux finish purple with huge shelves left of the door. My room was also a disaster, all of our rooms were and we didn’t have time to clean them. At the moment, though, I didn’t care. I was tired, sore and not looking forward to getting up at seven again only to go to bed at twelve-midnight or one. None the less, I climbed into bed after downing the Calms Forte.

“CISSY! Get your chef-coat and skirt on now.” My mom hissed at me while storming down the entryway in her chef-coat and skirt. I was sitting on the front stairs, resting my calves which hadn’t stopped screaming since I went to bed. My hips weren’t happy, either but nothing would help them.
There was an hour to go until people started arriving.
I jumped up and rushed to the washroom to grab my coat, which was bought when I was twelve and now a little snug, and back to my mothers closet where all of the skirts were.
Once I was in my mom’s closest, I looked reproachfully out the windows at the heat-waves coming off of the driveway. Our chef-coats are thick, linen-like collared things. They aren’t comfortable, especially in the Texas heat of July, and with a floor length skirt. Once I had everything on, I walked into the bathroom to wash my face and put my hair into a bun.
I wanted to climb into the sink’s cold water, it was so hot outside and I was already sweating from working in the kitchen but the sound of my mom calling me snapped me to my senses.
It was go time.
I was no longer Cissy, I was a caterer. A machine. That is the sort of thinking we all take on when the time is up.

It was going smoothly, more so than hoped for because a few trusted relatives came to help. Uncle Chris, Aunt Beth, and cousin Robbie. Robbie had a BAC, so he could act as bartender and Uncle Chris had experience in the food industry. Beth had been helping us cook for the past two weeks.
Well, anyway, things had been going smoothly and things were finally winding down to that point where we start counting down the minutes until people have to leave, when Robbie comes over to where mom, Sash, Jake and I are.
“We’re out of wine. This one lady…” He says. Mom made a face and said,
“Oh, yeah, that pink lady?”
“Yeah!”
“Uuuhg, she is annoying.” Jake added. “Keeps asking where the bathroom is. I’ve showed her six times.” We start laughing at this and it is only made worse when Robbie says,
“No, but you know the big white wine bottles? Like the huge ones?” He motions with his hands to about a liter-sized bottle, “Well, she’s downed two of those.”
“Fuck!” My mom whispers and we all start laughing harder.
We encountered the Pink Lady again when we were washing dishes and she came to tell us something.
“Alllll…. of the… roOOms are so.. messy. I went in all of… them.” She said and teetered around like a leaf that was barely hanging onto a branch. All of us froze. People were not supposed to go upstairs. This house may be a venue at times but it’s still our home and plus, the bride and groom will lose a five-hundred dollar deposit if anyone goes upstairs.
Once the lady and her red-faced husband left, Mom said under her breath,
“Yeah, well, maybe they wouldn’t be so messy if you weren’t seeing double.”

It took hours to break down most of the reception and it was one in the morning when we finally crashed.
The following Sunday, Mom made an ugly discovery: someone had stolen the swam tea-pot Dad had brought back from Japan. We still haven’t figured out who took it.
We had also discovered that the Pink Lady went to out church and was a horrible driver.

Paints and Muffins.

Image

I’m going to try to paint this today (a photo I took). The base will be water color, so I can get the base right, then the final layers will be oil. I need acetone for some of my brushes, though, because they have enamel paint on them. Yeah, I’m not one of those artists who has the right kind of paintbrush for every medium. I work with what I have and if that means using watercolor brushes with oil paints, then… well, you get the point. 

I also decided to bake today, which I haven’t done in a while. I felt out of it. I forgot two ingredients but they weren’t win or bust ingredients. I made omelette muffins and I forgot the cheese and garlic, so I made a garlic butter and will top the muffins with cheese. There, problem solved. I don’t really care for cheese in my eggs anyway. 

I will take pictures of how they came out and insert them into a end-of-day post.