4 Things I Love: Mental Fog Edition

 

Downtown. Glamour.

 

I spent roughly two days of this week being a tour guide for a visiting college friend. It was delightful! But that was enough to make the whole week feel exhausting. But don’t worry, I can still love things while in an inexplicable mental fog! Just watch me!

  1. Frasier. Sometimes, when everything feels like too much and my brain refuses to function in any way, I reach a point where the only acceptable activity is watching an episode of Frasier. I don’t love Frasier more than any other 90’s sitcom. In fact, I never ever watched much of it until recently, and maybe that’s why it’s so comforting: it feels familiar while still retaining some sort of newness. At any rate, I reached a point this week where even watching Frasier seemed like too much mental effort. And if that doesn’t provide a lovable amount of perspective on where my life’s at, I don’t know what does!
  2. The End of Migraine Visions. On Saturday afternoon I found myself with one of those lethargic, weird headaches. I lost track of time, space, and any accountability I had to the day. Suddenly it was time to meet aforementioned college friend to go to a poetry reading at the Ace Hotel. I poured myself onto the bus, and found myself in a strangely lit room listening to a long series of poems, read haltingly by nervous writers. The uneven lamplight danced off my retinas and I was forced to breathe through a weird series of optical tricks. I wasn’t “seeing things” exactly, but my vision wasn’t normal. Every once in a while the pain was almost blinding, but in between, I just knew something wasn’t right. The reading stretched on for hours (less than two of them). By the end, my headache was finally breaking and the visions went away. I have to find something to LOVE about this because I typed it all out, so let’s just pretend that it was nice to experience poetry in a surreal way.
  3. Downtown at Night. After the poetry reading, I missed the bus I was trying to take home. It was 10:30 at night, and there wasn’t another bus for an hour. Unsure what to do, I started walking. Walking downtown at night is oddly peaceful – I miss living in a city where that’s more common occurrence, and it’s nice to do it when I can. I like it even more because it’s clearly a bad idea. It was a crisp night, and I felt truly alive as I walked by groups of drunk people walking into leather bars and dodged cat callers. Everything in my world made sense, if only within the tiny microcosm of my quiet stride. I debated walking all the way home. Then I turned a corner and instantly felt legitimately unsafe. I called a Lyft in ten seconds flat and waited for it, terrified. The walk was nice while it lasted.
  4. Finishing Stuff. It’s 1:30 on Wednesday night (Thursday morning) and I am determined to finish this post on time. If you’re in Hawaii, it’s still Wednesday. So I did it, and I love that.

Life Gave Me Lemons

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There’s a lemon tree in front of my house. After months of looking at sad green bulbs, beautiful yellow lemons appeared all at once. Which means….immediate stress! A desperate need to binge on lemons! Over-saturation of garden delight! So I came up with a plan: a massive lemon day, where I would pick all the lemons and then cook and bake lemon-related things with them. It was going to be grand. There would be lemon bars and meringue pies! There would be potions and teas and lemonades! There were some hurdles.

Lemon trees have thorns. I didn’t know that until one stabbed me. So the momentous lemon harvest turned into picking six lemons and then going inside to wash my wounds. It’s okay though! Cooking with six lemons is totally respectable. I “cook,” but “baking” isn’t really a doable thing, so my friend Jen came over to assist with the “following directions” part of baking.
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My first recipe attempt was a (misguided) Lemon Spaghetti. Does that sound weird? It was. But I don’t cook meat, and vegetarian lemon recipe options were sort of limited. And then….the substitutions! (I can’t follow a recipe.) I thought heavy cream sounded too unhealthy and subbed in “fat free half and half” aka chalk water. Also, I already had mozzarella cheese so I used that instead of parmigiano reggiano (whatever that is). So something about the flavors wasn’t quite right, and instead of a sauce, it was more of a cheesy lemon stew. It needed vegetables, and I had none. And I might have left out another thing? Parsley, maybe? It was totally fine, though. Very edible.

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Jen’s contribution was this recipe for a Lemon Yogurt Cake. This one got off to a strong start because we had all the ingredients (thanks, Jen). It hit a rocky middle because I don’t own a mixing bowl. We made it work, though:

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This is a pitcher.

There’s actually not that much to report about the baking experience. I stayed out of the way, and it went off without a hitch.

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No hitches here.

The cake was a total success. And I ate leftover lemon spaghetti for the rest of the week, so that wasn’t technically a failure either. 🙂

What else should I “make” with a bunch of lemons? Tell me in the comments!

Diet Tip – Buy Subpar Snacks

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One of my guilty pleasures is that I love snacking. Yes, I’ll admit it: I like salty AND sweet snacks. And if you’re like me, it can be hard to “just quit” or “don’t keep it around the house.” Easier said than done, and a sure sign that I’ll be running out to Von’s on a rabid 11pm ice cream run.

I bought a box of Stauffer’s Whales – that is not the recognized brand Stouffer’s – at the 99 Cent Only Store, because that’s where I was. I thought, these will be the same as goldfish. Now I will have snacks.

No.

They’re somehow cheesier and less cheesy than goldfish. Somehow too salty and not salty enough. Somehow too crunchy to be called a cracker(??). I don’t know how so many paradoxes can be contained in a one dollar box of crackers, but it was so.

I’m not going to buy any more snack foods til they’re gone, so here I am, eating these “crackers” a few at a time. With that kind of forced portion control, I’ll have to resort to the only other joyful food in the house: beer. And that sounds like a diet to me 🙂 🍺