Sunday, November 30, 2008


Yesterday I was forced to finally leave home because I needed some food items. (You'll see that tomorrow.) This still remains my primary communication with the "outside world" though. After taking calls from my mom's family and my mother on Thursday, I decided that I was done with talking to people on the phone -- except at work. I started letting calls go to voicemail and if I knew whom the message was from, I didn't bother listening to it. Because if you haven't figured it out yet, I'm pretty depressed and pissed off with the world in general. We all have triggers and mine have been pretty bombarded over this past week. But then I decided to suffer through the messages. One was from Zombie Mom -- and yes, I will admit it. When she called, I just sat and watched the phone ringing. That's how foul a mood I've been in. About an hour later, I listened to her message. Looks like I might just be heading out later today as well. And then later I actually answered my dad's phone call and told him exactly how I felt.

Anywho. I headed out. Because I had waited so late in the day, I first had to walk to the main post office as I needed to send off my response card for that $100 a plate dinner. (Sorry folks but my RSVP was for one.) The RSVP is supposed to be in by Monday and that post office is the only place, save driving into Oakland, that still had a pickup for Saturday. Then it was off to Safeway, Ciao Bella, and Poulet -- in that order. I told you I needed stuff. And the guy who rang me up at Poulet asked if I had had special plans for the weekend. When I responded that I did not, he asked, "Laying low, huh?"

On the way home, I regretted not having a battery for my camera at this time. (I'm trying hard not to go into the rant of how that happened.) As I strolled along Shattuck, there was a group of people staring at the night sky. Of course, I looked up. Sitting low in the sky was a lovely crescent moon. But up higher were these two lone bright "stars" in the sky -- Jupiter and Venus. This combination of sites is not supposed to be possible again until 2052. The real beauty of it all was that since it was early evening (around 6:00 pm), none of the real stars were visible.

Perhaps I am boring you but I have always been fascinated with the night sky. I remember that when I was a kid, occasionally my mother would stand on the front porch with me and show me the constellations. Summers with my father's mother led to my love of mythology -- and understanding of the names of the constellations. I also remember being at a party, when I lived in Virginia, that was at Lake Matoaka. It was the wee hours of the morning and we all started studying the sky that was filled with so many stars while we were hanging out in the Amphitheater. And one of my friends pointed out the really bright star in the sky -- the Morning Star. And last night I finally got to see the Evening Star.

And so I headed out with one necessity in mind and found another need partially filled -- a feeling of belonging. Or at least some clues of how to get there. Because just when I was finally starting to feel comfortable with being me, I also lost my sense of belonging -- my place in the world. And so I've cut off communication lines because I need time -- to mourn and to figure out what's next. And hopefully I can stop throwing tantrums at work. Because I like my job and really would hate to be fired.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

My kind of dame

Your result for The Classic Dames Test...

Barbara Stanwyck

You scored 36% grit, 33% wit, 38% flair, and 2% class!

You're a tough dame, a bit of a spitfire, and you can even be a little dangerous, but you do it with such flair that almost all is forgiven (and even when it's not, you're still the most interesting woman in the room). You can be witty and charming, all right, but you have a tough streak that keeps you focused and sometimes deadly. You've had quite a climb to get where you are, but you're a hard worker and you mostly deserve all you get...and then some. You might end up destroying everything around you, but you must've got style. Your leading men include Henry Fonda, Fred MacMurray, and when you forget yourself, Gary Cooper.

Find out what kind of classic leading man you'd make by taking the
Classic Leading Man Test.

Take The Classic Dames Test
at HelloQuizzy

I must admit that I've always loved old Barbara Stanwyck movies. Her and Katherine Hepburn and Audrey Hepburn. I grew up watching their movies and aspired to be their characters in some shape or form. Audrey was another tale though. Except for her possible eating disorder, she was admirable both on and off screen.

Makes me think of one of my conversations with my mother in this past week. The young woman whom I have been tutoring along with her foster parents have been visiting my mother this past week. Right before they left, she received her report card. 3.7!!! But my mother says that her table manners are atrocious as well as some other basic etiquette skills. Apparently my mother told her to observe me when she returns home -- how to sit, how to eat, etc. That's right. The chick who sometimes has the mouth of a sailor is being held up as the epitome of proper social skills. Then again, I do clean up well.

Friday, November 28, 2008

More other people's food

One of my coworkers was shocked when I said that I would not be cooking this year for Thanksgiving. So much has changed. My aunt has died. My stepmother has died. My father is spending the holiday weekend in Alabama. The last time my mother and I were in the same place for Thanksgiving was in 1983. I used to spend Thanksgiving weekend sharing my leftovers with family members. But this year? My parents are still alive and I feel like an orphan. I had invitations to be elsewhere but let's be honest. Over the last few weekends, I have barely gotten out of bed. After Friday night, I rarely speak to anyone until Monday morning other than my father. Because he calls. And occasionally I make it over to the Zombie household on Sundays -- late in the day.

In the past, it was always a choice to not spend Thanksgiving with my parents. This year I suddenly did not have the choice. It was a bit devastating. I attribute this, along with moving at work, to my weakened immune system. Because I've worked with kids for years and almost never gotten sick. Then again, while the first day of it all was horrid, I have been recovering from the ick rather quickly as compared to others. So maybe those years with the kids has paid off.

After almost a week straight of dining at Poulet last week, I gave into their charms and ordered Thanksgiving dinner from them. Here's the menu I chose. (And yeah, I love me some gravy as evidenced by the photo.)

  • Turkey from Diestal
  • Focaccia stuffing with chard and sage
  • Giblet madeira gravy
  • Roasted root vegetables (yams, parsnips and carrots)
  • Green beans with shallots and pecans
  • Cranberry orange relish
  • Pumpkin sweet potato pie with whipped cream
They had pre-printed directions on how to reheat everything. The green beans were actually just blanched. They came with a small container of shallot butter. Once melted, the beans and pecans were tossed in it until warm. So I kind of cooked. Oh, and the pie? That's right beyotches. I have a whole pie for myself. And yeah, the pie came with a container of whipped cream. How cool is that?

As I finished off the plate of food -- funny how I can actually eat a whole plate of food if I don't have to cook it -- I came to a realization. Holidays, at best, just mean a day off from work for me at this point. And so when I hear other people going on about how they're excited about spending a day with family, I just don't get it. I mean I do but I don't. And that's what sucks about this time of year. When people don't understand why it's all OK with me. I've had years to get used to it all and have reached some level of acceptance of this is how it just is. This is how it has always been; I just forgot temporarily.

So please excuse me if I say I am tempted to say that I just vomited in my mouth in comments in response to various posts out there over the next few weeks. Because I suppose I'd love to have that Norman Rockwell/Hallmark kind of holiday season but that's just not reality for me -- and I'm sure for plenty of other folks out there as well. And hearing people say, "This is what the holidays are about." Really not fucking feeling it. Best part of this weekend to date? The food from Poulet and the time to catch up on some of my reading while having a cat curled up next to me. Because so far this is the first weekend in some time that I have not felt like curling up in bed. Well, I do but I just can't sleep anymore. I guess I'm too pissed off to sleep.

But you know what I really wonder? What's going to be on the menu at Poulet for Christmas? I know that next year I'll be ordering for Passover as well. Loved what I saw on their menu this year for that holiday but didn't order. (You don't have to be Jewish to order for Passover, do you?) Oh, and can January 2 come quick enough?

Please excuse the photos. They were taken with my phone. I don't have a battery at this time for my camera. I'd love to tell you about how that came to be but I'd end up being the screaming banshee that I was at work on Tuesday once more. In the meantime, I am trying to figure out where I will get the $80 to replace my battery and charger. Especially since I now have the one parking space at my building -- at a cost of $75 a month. But I'm thankful for that space as it means no longer having to circle for half an hour at times looking for parking. And I wish that some beyotch has the audacity to park their shit in my space.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Time keeps on slipping

I only have a few weeks until the first of the holiday parties to which I have been invited. I have to send in my RSVP for the party by the end of this week.

This party is a work-related one. It's a $100 a plate thing at the Fairmont. I know what I will wear to it, if I attend. The only question is the date thing. (I know I said that I would not discuss dating here but this is different.) My company is footing the bill and I am allowed to bring a date. As such, my mother feels that I should scrape up a date. But it's work. And the Fairmont. And did I mention that it's work? Because I never discuss dating at work. And to show up with a date? Kind of like showing up to a family wedding with a date, in my mind.
I used to have guys upon whom I could call in this kind of a situation but not so much anymore. So part of me says that it's better to show up stag.

The next weekend I have to attend a party with my dad. This one is formal. And I still don't have a dress. I'm leaning toward this dress though. Yes, I know it is Sacramento in late fall/early winter but it's all about looking cute.

The last party is the office holiday party. I'm planning that one. No worries there. Except for finalizing the menu over the next couple of weeks.

*sigh* I love the holiday season -- as long as I am working in the right place. This is all almost reminiscent of my days with the Death Star.

And for those of y'all in the States, have a happy Turkey Day!

Wednesday, November 26, 2008


So it seems that I have fallen victim to whatever has been going around. It started yesterday while at work. I just couldn't seem to get warm. And then I started feeling achy all over. The final straw? When my GI tract decided that it hates me. I actually stayed at work with my low-grade fever, sipping on a giant cup of 7-Up throughout the day.

It kind of sucks because tonight I'm going to pick up all my yummy Thanksgiving food from Poulet. But then I started to think about those five pounds...

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Who are you to me?

Back in the early part of my partygirl days, I learned one thing. If a guy bought you a drink at the club, he suddenly thought you were his property. Say what? I used to say, "I'm not married to you so you can't come at me like that. Besides you paid for what? One drink? All I owe you is pleasant company." What I left out was, "Until the next best thing comes along."

Hmmm. Perhaps this has contributed to the fact of why I am still single. Whatever. At this point in my life, I'm just not ready to give up my independence. Unless your name is Clive Owen. Or perhaps Daniel Craig. Or Don Cheadle. Or Hugh Jackman. Or Terrance Howard. Or Benjamin Bratt. Just sayin'. A girl's gotta have standards. (And yes, I realize that all except one are presently married.)

Monday, November 24, 2008

Silly me

Friday after starting to unpack the endless boxes at work, I headed out to have my roots touched up. On the way home, I realized that I should have taken one of the dolls from Zombie Mom so that I could make sure the clothing fits properly. So after wine and much laughing, I headed home.

I did the usual thing of feeding the cats first before settling in. There I was, poised with remote control and book -- The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society in case you're interested -- when I noticed something was amiss. No cigarettes. So out I headed with no shoes to my car to retrieve them. I re-entered my building with no problem. But quickly discovered that there was no longer a key to my apartment on the key chain. It had fallen off somewhere. After searching outside, I quickly surmised that the key was inside my apartment.

I collapsed by the front door, all the while hearing Boris scratching and mewing on the other side of the door. I straightened a wire ring from my key chain and attempted to pick the lock. Alas, my lock picking abilities have disappeared. One of my neighbors let me in to use the phone. He called the emergency service number. They said to call a locksmith. I called a few. Prices ranged from $150 to $200. I decided that I'd rather not spend money that way. At first I was going to sleep in my car but it was a rather chilly evening on Friday. I then headed back the warmer hallway.

Finally around 2:00 AM I decided to do the three block or so trek to Random Boy's apartment. Fortunately I had left a pair of shoes in my car so I put those on first. And put my hood on my head. And tried my best to look as tough as possible. Fortunately he is a light sleeper and answered the door quickly. Might have something to do with the fact that for once on a Friday night, he was sober.

Saturday morning I headed back to my building and got the number to the building manager who lives in another building a block away. She had something on the stove so if I could run down there, she'd be more than happy to give me a key.

The lesson here? Time to find another neighbor to entrust with my spare key.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Sometimes it comes from other people

Originally I had thought of calling this "A week at Poulet."

It all started on Monday night. I don't know if I've mentioned it before (and I'm too lazy to look) but my company moved this past week. Everything had to be packed by the end of the day Thursday. This left me with little, if any, energy when I got home from work.

Monday night I popped over to Poulet because the special was coq au vin. But before I could order I saw the desserts -- apple tart and chocolate chip bread pudding. I was at a loss. Finally I ordered both. And then I ordered the coq au vin because I did need something to go with the desserts.

Tuesday night I went back with another idea. I was inspired by Abby's post but they didn't have any of the grilled chicken breasts. They did have chicken breast with a mustard and vermouth cream sauce served with butternut squash though. And apple galette.

Thursday night I went back in search of grilled chicken breasts. They had them -- as well as Cordon bleu chicken rollups and carrot walnut cake. And Waldorf chicken salad that I bought for lunch on Friday.

Saturday night I finally got around to Abby's "recipe." She said that she doesn't really think of it as being a recipe because it involves cans of things. I decided to take the non-recipe thing one step further by using chicken that had already been cooked -- by someone else. And it almost didn't happen because I spent a panicked ten minutes trying to locate the enchilada sauce. (See, Nat? Sometimes we all have those days. And as evidenced above, I don't know how I'd survive without Poulet.)

And this week? Normally I'd be busy shopping for Thanksgiving. This year, I decided to not cook though. Instead I placed an order when I was at Poulet on Thursday night. I'll be picking up my food Wednesday evening.

Perhaps soon I'll get back to cooking but for now my energy is all into unpacking at work and the great sewing project. One good thing about not cooking? This past week for the first time in some time, I was able to wear my size 4 khakis from Old Navy and they remained comfortable throughout the day. So maybe it's about a little heavy lifting and not eating my own cooking.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Damn lutefisk!

Your result for The What country are you? Test...


Your country is 69 concerned with morals, 68 prosperous, 73 liberal, and 42 aggressive!

Your country is highly liberal, and, to tell you the truth, your citizens are happy to pay higher taxes in exchange for government-sponsored comfort. You're not a very aggressive country, however--until the scent of Lutefisk starts to waft over from your neighbor to the west.

For your information, the possible countries in this test include: Haiti, North Korea, Albania, Russia, Vietnam, Turkey, Poland, India, Singapore, China, The Netherlands, United Kingdom, Libya, Tanzania, East Timor, Lithuania, Indonesia, Iran, Canada, Israel, Sweden, Australia, Germany, or the United States of America.

Take The What country are you? Test

Friday, November 21, 2008

Still a liar

I said none of that emotional stuff here. I changed my mind. Only on Friday. Because when I cook, sew, knit -- it's all filled with emotion. And part of me thinks the why of it all is so important.

These three things have one thing in common. I get lost in the activity. So much so that I can forget everything else. Even eating. Well, except when I'm cooking.

When I cook, I taste along the way. Thing is that I often taste so much that I'm not hungry once it's all done. I think I mentioned that before. Often the food in photos is just for that purpose. After the photo has been taken, I wrap the food up and put it away in the fridge for the next day.

Knitting is a little better. Except at some point my wrists or elbows start to ache. Back when I was in college, I gave myself tennis elbow from knitting. Or at least that's what the nurse told me. So with knitting, I pace myself.

There is no pain from sewing. I can remember times that I sat in front of the sewing machine for ten, twelve hours. And then I would remember that except for juice, I had not put anything into my stomach. I would light a cigarette and rest it in the ashtray after taking the initial puff. When I looked again, it would have burned out, completely spent. I lose myself in fabric.

At one point in undergrad, I went to talk with a design school. I remember saying how I can look at a bolt of fabric and see the finished piece in my mind. I remember describing this to my aunt. She told me that not everyone can see this. I was shocked because I had always thought that everyone else could see what I saw.

During undergrad, my wardrobe was mostly a mixture of things that I made and things that I bought at thrift/vintage stores. And the things that I made? Once folks learned that I had made them, they would ask me to make the same for them.

There were two things that kept me sane during my time in law school -- sewing and photography. During those years, I created a stuffed animal wearing an outfit. I made it for my little cousin around Easter and made her a dress that matched the one her new stuffed animal was wearing. Her mother suggested that I change the colors on the dress as the animal was a symbol for a sorority. I made one for her to give to a friend but before I gave it to her I showed it some of my classmates. I got orders for more. And I made one for my dad's older sister as well. She told me that all her sorors, upon seeing it, wanted one as well. But I was busy with school. When I decided to leave law school, one of my dad's brothers mentioned the stuffed animals. (Actually this would be the uncle who pissed me off in the planning of my aunt's funeral back in July. I think we found peace at my stepmother's funeral though.) He wanted me to calculate start up costs because he was willing to invest.

The thing that has stopped me over the years is my mother's voice in my head. "This is something you do as an avocation, not a vocation." That's something with which I've battled. How could someone who claims that they think highly of me have so little trust in my abilities? Because everyone in my family -- my father's side as well as my mother's -- believed in my abilities. It was just my mother who thought that I was setting myself up for failure. And so now I wonder what could have been if I hadn't walked around for so many years with that voice in my head.

And now after all these years, I am ready to stop listening to that voice. I'm ready to re-commit myself to that which I love so much that I can even forget about food. Because I am now starting to realize that this is what the whole blogging thing has really been about. Being able to take the real risks.

What's in a name?

Yeah, I know that I said that I wouldn't do the emotional stuff over here but just allow me this one post. Because it's not really all that emotional.

That name I used on that other blog? (Well, actually three blogs if you want to be exact.) I came up with that one on the spur of the moment. (It's from a book if you're wondering.) When I created that person, I was trying to find my voice again and my love of writing. Mission accomplished. But then I realized that there were other parts of me that had been forgotten over the years and I was now ready to reclaim those parts of me as well. Funny how I had to be someone else for almost four years to become comfortable with being me. To find me.

My parents were kind of hoping for a boy when I was born. They had not really given much thought to names for a girl. So when they were told that they had had a girl, they were kind of stumped. Originally my name was supposed to be Alexandra. I've always liked that name. (In fact that used to be my bar name -- just like "Jade" was my best friend's bar name.) The name they ended up giving me? Not so much.

I made my first attempt to change my name at age four. I came home from nursery school and announced that my name was now Suzanne. I also remember being Tonya and Linda at various times as well. I forget the other names I tried out over the years. For some reason, my mother refused to call me by any of these other names.

Around age 12, my mother gave me a suggestion. I misheard her. What I heard was "Kailyn." What she really said was a variation of my real name. After I realized my mistake, I decided to stick with Kailyn.

As I said earlier this week, I have been making doll clothing since age seven. By the time I was 12, I was starting to tweak patterns to make them what I really wanted. I was also making dolls to wear these fashions. (I've never been able to draft a pattern from scratch. Instead I find a pattern that is close to what I want and then alter it into what I really want it to be.) I started signing my drawings with the name Kailyn. By the time I was 18, it had morphed into Kailyn's Creations.

All those other names were me trying to escape from who I was but Kailyn, in being a play on my actual name. has always been a part of me. Kailyn was the woman the 12-year-old me wanted to be. And while I may not have all the things that the 12-year-old me wanted -- a husband, three to five kids, a house sitting on at least an acre so that besides having cats I could have dogs, horses, and various rodents and reptiles -- I like to think that the 12-year-old me would still be pretty happy with the present me. And those other things? They could still happen.

And so it seemed only natural to let go of that other name in creating this blog. Because for the first time in a long time, I think I'm honestly happy with being me. It has been a long road getting here and while part of the journey was painful, I now know that it was all part of the process. And I wouldn't have it any other way.

Thursday, November 20, 2008


So I'm trying to get back to my first love -- sewing. My dear friend, Zombie Mom enlisted me to make doll clothing for her daughters. Yep, the former partygirl has been making doll clothing since age seven. You have something to say? Because I'll gladly meet you outside. I'm from Richmond, beyotch. And even if I wasn't, I've taught in East Oakland. I have armor that most of the rest of you cannot even conjure up in your deepest fantasies. And I used to relate really well with those kids because just like them, I learned how to protect my heart at an early age. But I said I wasn't doing the emotional stuff here so please ignore that momentary lapse.

Doll clothing is different than clothing for humans. For humans, I usually start with a sketch and work from there. But doll clothing? Doesn't require much fabric. Therefore, over the years I have accumulated quite a collection of scraps and remnants. With doll clothing, I start by diving into my fabric collection until I find something that "speaks" to me. (Kind of like Crazy Carla on Top Chef.) Then I do a rough sketch of what I want to create. Of course, sometimes the doll clothing is a smaller scale of something that I have thought of for humans. Actually that's what I am trying to work toward.

Anywho, that's how I have spent the last couple of weeks. Going through the fabrics, looking for inspiration. And making the list of other things that I will need. It started with the velvet in the first grouping. I sketched out a couple of ideas. Then I hit Stonemountain & Daughter on Monday night for the second grouping. Because after sketching I went in with a shopping list. Still in need of materials for shoes. I'm thinking a boot. Oh, and I'm hoping to use the velvet in three different pieces. Wait until you see the other fantastic stuff I picked up. And that's all I'm going to say for now.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

How could I forget?

One of my other allowable topics -- shopping!

That's right. Last week was the Kate Spade semi-annual sale. I got this lovely piece of leather for $71. It was too good a deal to not pick up. Unfortunately the next sale will not be until next June.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

My new favorite band

I've decided that Tuesdays will be about media -- when new music and DVDs are released. Maybe the occasional book as well because I do still read.

The stuff today? Not new but stuff I'm groovin' on currently.

When I started this post, I was only going to include the second video. Then I re-listened to the first and knew that I had to include it as well. Because that one? Well, I've always loved Supertramp's "Breakfast in America."

And it kind of reminds me of "Looking at the Front Door." Well, that second girlfriend makes me think of the song. It looks like the guy in the first video ended up with better results than the poor guy in "Looking at the Front Door" did.

Now onto the second one. "Foxy Nefertiti"? So much more fly than Cleopatra in my mind. And I love that Estelle.

But please excuse me as I now wander off and try to get "American Boy" out of my head. That song has a way of getting into your mind the same way that "Gypsy Woman" Yep. That's right. I want y'all to suffer along with me. Because now I have two competing earworms.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Cool weather food

First of all, if you know me in my former blogging persona, then let me say that things won't be quite the same around here as in the other place. Yes, there will be the occasional quiz or music video. There will be food and crafts. But all that other stuff? The emotional stuff? Not here unless it relates to one of those four things. No tales of dating either. Because on that emotional stuff I'm going back inward. Just something I have to do for self-preservation.

So on with it all. This past week was a combination of cioppino (pictured) and boeuf bourguignon. I mistakenly thought that it was fall. But it's been in the 80s this week. I highly recommend both dishes for those of y'all in cooler climates though.