Thursday, April 28, 2011

Pound Cake

So I'm about to tell a story that some of y'all may have heard before. Some stories are worth retelling though.

About ten years or so ago I was going through the "Why am I still single?" thing. Being single in itself doesn't really suck. It's just that your formerly single friends seem to drop off the planet. And then they have kids. Suddenly they are doing stuff -- with people who also have kids. But you don't so you're so out of the loop. But then when you meet up with these friends on those rare occasions, they somehow think that your life is so great. And I suppose it is if you think that entertaining the thought of adopting every stray animal that crosses your path so that you can have consistent companionship is better. Hell. You want to go to shelters and adopt every cute stray. Well not maybe cute. Pitbulls can be cute. Think of Petey on The Little Rascals. Cute as hell if you ask me.

Enough rambling. I was at some function or another at my dad's and his sister-in-law and I had snuck out to have a smoke. (Another revelation. Part of the reason why I can't quit smoking is because it's one of my defenses against others.) So started the pound cake story.

She told me how her dad told her about how fabulous her mom's pound cake was -- so much so that they would swipe a taste while it was in the pantry. And then her dad reminded her how sometimes her mom would put a lemon glaze on the cake. The glaze just enhanced the flavor of the already really good cake. Her dad then told her that she was the cake and that any man in her life was the glaze. The cake (you) is perfectly good on its own; the glaze (that other person) just adds something that makes the cake seem better. The key point though was that even if there is no glaze, the cake is perfectly good on its own.

That's what I remind myself of in the middle of the onslaught of everything else in life. Because being never married and childless in one's 40s? Can you say pariah? Freak of nature? OK. Maybe not but that's how it sometimes feels when people ask. Or when I'm hanging out with old friends and they say,"I always thought that you would be married with kids before me." But nowadays I really like other people's kids. One's that can be returned.

And then I remind myself that I'm like the pound cake -- I'm perfectly fine on my own. Some days it's harder to remember this than others.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

I'm sorry that I'm not white

I had originally planned on posting something completely different but then Monday night happened.

One of the joys of being footloose and fancy free is that when I see a post online that Dave Chappelle is appearing at a club in San Francisco on Monday night, I can head on over to the Live Nation site to secure my ticket. Now I could have been sensible and bought one for the early show but why do that? Every now and then you have to remind yourself that you can still hang. That's why I went for the late show. Yes, it started at 10:30. And yes, I knew from prior experience that a Dave Chappelle show can last three hours. But I'm all badass partygirl like that.

I came home from work on Monday, ate dinner and then caught a disco nap. Then it was time to get ready for the show. People asked, "You're driving into North Beach? Parking sucks." Yeah, it can but I know the area near Cobb's all to well since my former home away from home is on the same block. As I circled the block for a second time, I got a parking space within a half block of the club. I'm really tight with the Parking Goddess of SF.

The vibe in line was cool. It continued in the club -- for a bit. These folks seated on the floor (I was in the balcony.) kept yelling out all kinds of stuff. Next thing you know, their table was surrounded by security and they were asked to leave. The woman in the couple was really resistant. Took two security guys to get her out of the place. And the last words we heard from her as she passed in front of the stage were, "I'm sorry that I'm not white." Yeah, she went there. After she left, Chappelle asked the audience, "Do you think she'll be back? She was kind of cute."

It felt good to laugh. It also felt good to stick to my plan of no caffeine or alcohol. Had no problem getting up for work today and was completely functional. Makes me feel like going out more, being more badass. Of course last night I was also limping. Took myself to the doctor today. Seems as if I have an inflamed Achilles tendon. That means taking it easy for a bit. But just a bit. Because once you've had a taste of what life used to be, it's hard to go back.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

One is the magic number

You sit and remember reading The Sound and the Fury all those years ago. You think of Benjy suddenly remembering Caddie from all those years prior because he smelled some flowers that reminded him of her. At the time you read something else that said that smell memories are the strongest. Perhaps. For you it's always been about music. Long before "Ally McBeal" you believed that life needed a soundtrack. You hear a song and instantly remember a person or place. The soundtrack is the one thing you never doubted, questioned.

As you planned your life, the most frequent question that arose was, "Why?" You asked this in high school as you sat around on a Saturday night playing solitaire while watching "The Love Boat" and "Fantasy Island" and in the back of your head "At Seventeen" played. Later when your carefully made plans went astray, you asked, "Why?" Somewhere along the way you just stopped asking. Sometimes things just are.

This is what you tell yourself every time someone asks you why you've never married. Well, aren't you dating now? And what about kids? You can't go down that road because that just opens up that whole can of whys.

Part of the price of blocking these questions is putting up your guard. Living on the defensive. But you've had way too many years of practice at this and are quite adept. Frankly sometimes you occasionally allow yourself the thought that this is why you are single. Your guardedness. And you remember how it all started, a form of survival. But then you shove it back into that place where all things about which you do not want to think -- or at least not for that moment -- are kept. Besides that's a tale of its own.

And really? Most days you like your life. You like not having to answer to anyone else. You like being able to pack your bag on a whim and leave town on some new adventure. And you realize that this is what gets you past the whys and turn the Jill Scott up a smidge more.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Venturing out

Yes, it's been about a month since I last posted. Most of my dining has been pretty boring -- not even photo worthy. It was survival eating. I have completed the 30 days of Paleo and am no longer sticking to it 100%. While I haven't gained any weight back, I have noticed a slight shift in my sleeping patterns. Still not the full-blown insomnia but still. Not severe enough for me to eschew those foods I truly love though.

I awoke this morning with a taste for barbeque. Normally I head to either KC's in Berkeley or Everett & Jones in either Berkeley or Hayward. Today I wanted something different so I read a bunch of online reviews. Decided to give The Brick Pig's House a try. (And was kind of sad to realize that it is in a neighborhood in which I looked at homes. I so need to move.)

The Brick Pig's boasts that their BBQ is Southern style instead of the usual KC style. Besides reading about this in online reviews and their website, I also got to hear this from the owner/cook. While I waited for my order, she came out to chat. She stuck around once I replied, "Yes, this is my first time here." We discussed the other places I usually frequent. We talked about differences in BBQ. I mentioned that my mother is from Virginia and around those parts they tend to make the vinegar-heavy Carolina BBQ. The owner of Brick Pig's knows how to make Carolina style but has decided to stick with the Little Rock, Arkansas recipe of her people.

Order in hand, I sped home. It was different but still tasty. Less smoke flavor than other places. And the sauce -- which I ordered on the side per usual -- had more of a vinegar tang than most. As such, it wasn't cloying sweet as the sauce at KC's can sometimes be. Oh, and did I mention that I also got peach cobbler? And that it was still warm when I got home?

Next time I'm trying the brisket. And one of the other cobblers. Because I'm so going back.