Wednesday, August 21, 2013
I can't stop thinking: are all darkest secrets about sex?
Abortion vs. adoption.
Sex: what/who/where you desire. what age it began. with how many.
As a habit, I don't write about sex, because I don't tweet, Facebook, or blog anything I wouldn't want my grandmother to read... and I regularly print my blog posts and mail them to her so that she can read what I write without having to learn how to use a computer.
But I'll see my grandmother next week, and I think it's worth asking. For example, did she have as many friends as I do who simply could not get pregnant? Is it because we're all waiting 10 years later or because we're all on hormonal birth control or because we all eat more fast food or, hell, more organic food than our parents and grandparents?
Or did she (or my mother) talk about these sorts of things with her girlfriends? Are we in some kind of post-Sex and the City freedom of speech era? Certainly nothing I could write about would be a surprise to my grandmother. She does, after all, have cable. (Not that you need cable to watch Dr. Phil.) (Not that I've watched Dr. Phil, so I'm conjecturing.)
The highest court in our land allows men to marry men and women to abort. We have clubs devoted to women taking off their clothes for money, men dressing like women for fashion, anonymous group sex for fun.
For better and worse, privacy is one thing that unites us all. Shame, guilt, or the freedom from either. Experimentation and experience, lust and love.
The point is: having secrets makes us human.
I hope that, whatever yours are, you find a way to make them lighter. Or at least to accept them.
Monday, August 19, 2013
Sunday, August 18, 2013
sipping coffee on someone else's front porch
major and minor
shifts and twists
my life would need to take
to buy the antebellum home
for sale (for months)
then use its six bedrooms
as a bed and breakfast.
all the wedding receptions the home has hosted
and could host
the family reunions it could house
the refuge it could offer
to the bereaved
what wines to serve at cocktail hour
who I'd hire to cook (or would I?)
and to clean (I would not)
what room rates would be
how expensive it would be to furnish
my $88 per square foot
cypress and crystal home
built two centuries, a civil war, two world wars, and the advent of electricity ago
with the sweet money of sugarcane
with the hope that all who made the pilgrimage
could find solace and comfort and salve
in major and minor
shifts and twists
without current or tides
Thursday, August 8, 2013
I think one of my primary love languages is food. I love to cook for people (give). I love to share meals with people (give/receive). And I really, really, really love to eat (receive).
My godmother's daughter will deliver some truly well incubated twins tomorrow. My godmother and my mother are in town for the occasion and to help out wherever possible, since Leslie is currently full of almost 13 lbs of baby.
It's a lot of baby.
And since I have the luxury of plenty of free time these days, I decided that I would cook for them. I plan to bring five dishes frozen, a box of produce from Hollygrove Market, my Crockpot/Cuisinart/Microplane, and all of my favorite cookbooks.
I started planning meals on Monday night, making lists which turned into one Google spreadsheet and one Google document. I went to three different grocery stores to get everything I wanted, and I started cooking yesterday afternoon. Pozole turned out much spicier than I intended, and meatloaf turned out much blander than intended. This morning, I made ribollita. My father's braised short ribs will come out of my oven when I finish writing this, and then I will start making his chili. The recipe calls for a (one.) beer, leaving me with five delicious Shiner Bock to partake of.
I've earned it.
For those of you who have houses with insulation or air conditioning that evenly cools your whole house, allow me to explain to you what it's like to be in my kitchen in New Orleans in August. Especially when the oven is on.
It's like Bikram cooking.
Additionally, when I say I'm using my father's recipes, you need to understand:
1. my father is a really excellent cook, and anything I make of his will merely mimic the original;
2. my father's recipes are crazy ridiculous in the amount of effort they take, from grocery shopping for ingredients the store clerks have never heard of to getting stew meat cut especially for you to using twine to hold together bacon, celery, herbs in a "bouquet."
All of these are demotivating factors, but that's how much I love my mother, my godmother, Leslie, Leslie's husband, and these giant twins.
Oh. I forgot to mention Leslie's husband. He doesn't eat produce of any kind, except for iceberg (if that counts) and fried okra (because Alabama). So I'm cooking a lot of meat for him and a lot of vegetables for the rest of his household.
I have frozen or will freeze the soups in one cup portions. That way you don't have to heat up an entire pot of chili when you just want a cup of soup. I made the meatloaf in a muffin tin (that I had to borrow from a friend, because that's how little I bake), so they are also in single servings.
Knowing that the twins' helpers might have allergies or that the twins themselves might develop them, I have labeled each of the ziploc bags I have frozen: name of dish; whether it contains egg, dairy, or gluten; and SPICY across the pozole.
I like to think that food is a love language I speak well, and I hope the twins first days at home are filled with the kind of love they'll live their whole lives knowing.
Tuesday, August 6, 2013
- I have to list three persons' name and official business title.
- I have to list three companies' "record of address."
- I have to choose the job title I talked to these people about via a drop down menu that basically doesn't include any titles belonging to anyone in the nonprofit sector.
Monday, August 5, 2013
effort to boycott New Orleans
during the month of August
SO. MUCH. HOT.
I decided that it might be fun to go camping.
Not the kind with a tent or hookups:
the kind with an air-conditioned cabin
and decently appointed kitchen
and maybe a lake breeze
to minimize mosquitoes
and to maximize comfort.
Then I realized
that a room in a charming bed and breakfast
(you know, where breakfast will be provided for me)
was less expensive.
Thursday, August 1, 2013
To most of you, this is probably a matter of putting pairs of earrings/cufflinks back into their compartments or putting a hat back on a shelf. Where things belong.
My best guess is that the top of my chest of drawers has not been cleaned since the summer of 2011, and I only know that date because that is when the mail towards the bottom of the pile was postmarked.
It does not belong here. It belongs in my file folders or in my recycling bin, circa 2011.
It's a collection of bills (long since paid), financial statements (unopened), magazines (now in a pile to be donated to a school for their arts program)... and one thousand other things. Scraps of paper, letters, picture frames with(out) pictures, nail polish, 3 pairs (!) of earphones, one (1) AA battery, the black and gold feather boa wig I'll need for football season, business cards from people I've forgotten... all with clean, folded laundry from months ago (anyone's guess) on top and some really cheap (but sentimental) earrings I was certain I'd lost at the bottom.
The favorite things I found:
- a thank you note from Anne Berry for hosting our annual orphan Thanksgiving dinner, where she thanked me "for making New Orleans feel like home"
- a picture from my senior year of college, snogging my gay best guy friend, due to the effects of (a lot of) fermented beverage
- the invitation to my and Brooke's one-year anniversary party: Champagne at Sunset
- pictures of me and my college roommate, who is now expecting a son, at parties or in our jammies in our dorm room
- pictures of me and my best guy friend from high school, with whom I traveled a great deal in the 5ish years after high school, and who is now expecting twins :)
- books I meant to give as presents or to read or to just have sitting out to look fancy
- a note from one of my dearest friends: "Thank you so much for dropping everything and coming down to Miami for my mother's funeral."
- love notes from my beau, when we were beginning
- a haiku a lobbyist wrote me when I was working in the Texas legislature, on one of our designated "haiku Thursdays"
All of these are messages that I belong
that I have the exact love I want
that my friends have added richly and deeply to
my definitions of kindness, grace, beauty
I belong to this gratitude
and to these memories
and, for now, to a fresh clean surface
where I will lay new words
frame new pictures
place old earrings and bobby pins
and find renewed pieces of myself and others
to belong to.