Sunday, December 13, 2009

Braving the weather

Now I know that some of y'all in colder climates are saying to yourselves, "Weather? Those Californians are such wimps." Yes, we are. We like our temperate climate. But this is an El Nino year so I see lots of rain and cold in our immediate future. And lots of whining as a result. We are petulant privileged children. (Say that fast three times. I double dog dare you.)


But Friday evening was the start of Hanukkah. And me? I am down with any religious holiday that involves food. (Note to self -- Must research Hindu and Buddhist traditions for ones that involve food as well as I am only versed in the Christian, Jewish and Islamic ones.) So Friday I headed out into the awful rain to Berkeley. Saul's had a latke tent for the weekend. I cannot even begin to describe my love of latkes. OK. It is not as great as my love of blintzes but still.


This weekend was more about this inspiration though. When Maddie and Boy Toy were out here in August, we hit a couple of wineries and I joined their wine clubs. Imagine my surprise at the beginning of November when instead of my usual two bottles, I received this beauty. Yes, it is a magnum. And yes, in this photo it is completely empty. How? Well, I sent out an Evite and cooked up some food.


There was my usual goat cheese with fig and walnut tapenade to start the evening. The main was a salad, bread, moussaka and spinach lasagna (pictured). There were children running around laughing and playing. Adults were busy catching up on one another's lives. Jade said that she had watched Julie and Julia earlier in the day and it made her think of me. For me, it felt like home.


I awoke this morning a bit fuzzy around the edges. And then it hit me. They had eaten everything. There was no food left save the baklava even though they had put a pretty healthy dent in it as well. The remainder will be going to work with me tomorrow as I am sticking true to my weight loss goal. Because -- squeeee! -- I had lost another pound when I got on the scale this morning. I now weigh less than I did back in July. This is real and I can do it. And the fact that I'm doing it during the holiday season and at a time that I am vulnerable to using food as a crutch proves to me that I can do this anytime.

Today I also did a kind of hard thing. I went to meet my mother to go to the movies. I realized on the way there that I have not seen a movie in a theater in over two years. Scary. Five years ago I used to see at least 75 or so movies per year in a theater. With my DVD viewing, I easily watched 200 movies a year. I miss it. Maybe if and when I get my bonus check in January (Yes, my company is still giving those out.), I will rejoin the San Francisco Film Society. Because I do need to take my non-flabby self out to places and all.

I totally survived going to the movies with my mom. While she enjoyed Invictus, she did not like it as much as Blind Side. Me? I would have liked it more if she had not been reciting the poem throughout the movie but I knew it would happen. But how can you not love this?

"I am the master of my fate.
I am the captain of my soul."

It tied in beautifully with watching "Dollhouse" Friday night. Here's where I would put in the warning about plot spoilers and all but I suspect that at this point, I'm the only one watching. Echo met up with a previous engagement -- a guy who wanted her to be his dead wife. The guy had finally moved on in his life and was engaged but when he saw Echo, everything came back for him.
"I thought I was past this."

"You never get past it. It becomes a part of who you are."


So true. And me now? It's all about having a home that I can open up to others. And on days in which there is not a Save the Air warning, a fire in the fireplace. By the way, the screen came from my aunt's house. And so a little bit of her will always be with me. Because sometimes we need to see it. But I know that I carry a little bit of the four women I have lost in these last 15 months or so in me. I would not be who I am today if not for them. And I will never forget this. They taught me to cook, to set a pretty table, to be a gracious hostess, to find joy in being around other people's children. They also taught me that bad things happen but we are survivors and so we move on. It is how we react and not these things themselves that define who we are.


And Flufficat, Boris and Natasha would like to thank Teddy and Kiki for their Hanukkah gifts. As you can see, the blue fluffy thing was big hit. Of course after one hour, it no longer exists. Because my cats are all gangsta like that.