Sunday, August 22, 2010


I think I get what I miss about Berkeley. Yes, part of it is the ability to easily walk to places of interest but there's more to it. Berkeley is where the craziness happens. And when I say craziness, I mean in a Lucy and Ethel kind of way.

I have been in Berkeley since Friday night to stay with Dumb and Dumber. Yesterday I traveled across town for the Commander's birthday party. After the party, Fluffycat and I headed back to the north side to hit Gregoire's for dinner. We parked at the house and walked the one mile to get yummy treats. Since Gregoire's has limited seating, we returned to the house with our meals. Shortly after dining is when the trouble started.

We went out to the deck and as I was closing the door, I realized that it was locked -- about 2 seconds too late. So there we were trapped on the deck on a rather bucolic street. There was no one to call to help for. Our phones were inside the house. So I did what any good action hero would do. I kicked off my shoes and swung myself over the railing and then swung myself onto the porch. I also quelled the thought that I could slip and land on the cement below. Did I mention that I was wearing a little black dress at the time? Fortunately it is a bucolic street because there was probably an underwear flash at some point in all this maneuvering. But they were cute ones. I then headed to the neighbors' house, whom I had fortunately met on my last stay here. Within 20 minutes or so, the locksmith showed up and Fluffycat was able to come in. She had briefly thought of following my escape route but we decided that since my legs are longer, it was probably easier for me.

In case you're wondering, I had the roasted pork tenderloin medallions that were served with a curry bacon sauce...

while Fluffycat had the grilled tritip served with an oven roasted tomato and roasted garlic salsa.

And I must admit that I was kind of bummed when we entered Gregoire to see a female cook up front. But while we waited for our food, the cute cook did pop his head out of the back and smiled.

So I'm in Berkeley for another two nights and now I'm wondering what kind of trouble adventure I can get into today...

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Some things never change

You ever feel like you have so much to say yet nothing at all at the same time? That's where I am. I take photos and say that I'll write a post but then I have nothing. So let's see if I can make sense of images from last weekend.

The last time I grilled arrachera, I followed the traditional marinating procedures. Now I love cumin as much as the next girl but it had way too much cumin for my taste. Sheesh. Never thought I would say that. This time around I wanted cleaner flavors. So I stuck with salt, pepper, garlic, lime juice and olive oil. Much more the experience I sought. After tasting the cooked meat, I wrapped it up and deposited it into the freezer.

While the meat was marinating, I took another stab at potato salad. I have always thought that I was following my real mom's recipe in the past but it turns out, I wasn't. I knew in the past I had not used nearly enough boiled eggs and mustard. But the real secret is the pickle relish. I grew up believing that Yankees use dill while Southerners use sweet. Turns out that Mom uses a combination of both. And since she makes the best potato salad in the world, I have to believe in her choice. I've barely put a dent in the bowl.

While I was in the store picking up potatoes and celery for the potato salad, I thought that I may as well pick up some peaches for a cobbler. I made it in a smaller pan this time so the crust to filling ratio was more to my liking. I finally tasted it today.

Here's the thing. I like to cook. And in the past I rarely ate it. I woke up last Sunday knowing that I had gained a few of the pounds that I had lost back and wanted to be rid of them once more -- and then some. I then proceeded to cook a bunch of stuff guaranteed to put more pounds on my ass. Why? Because cooking relaxes me. It also helps me to forget that I really don't have anything better to do -- except clean.

Mostly I haven't posted because I've been dealing with a lot of emotions which I have struggled to put into words. Now I think I have some ideas.

I am once more fighting my nomadic soul. There is a voice in my head that is screaming, "Run. Pack up and move away," but I know that I can't right now. Instead once a week I look at real estate listings.

I keep telling myself that I need four more years. Hopefully by then I will be in a position to move once more. Hopefully back to Berkeley. I love that I own my condo; I am just not enamored with the location. Then again maybe the development across the street will finally happen. If so, that could change my opinion completely.

Then there is my job. I like what I do. And I'm really good at it. This is now the longest I have been at any one place as far as work is concerned. Usually I left because I felt like I had plateaued. See? More of the nomadic soul. I'm pretty much at that place once more but I really want to give stability a try. And I guess it could be a lot more bearable except for the one thing I just realized today. This is the first job at which I do not socialize with my coworkers on a regular basis. In many ways I have always buried myself in my work but because there was also a social aspect to it all, I never really minded.

Bottom line is what I guess I am feeling is loss. I feel like I'm replaying every time I have had someone close to me die. Except this time someone hasn't died. And so I have had to spend the past couple of weeks defending my position to others. And I feel tired. But what I really want is something different.