July 29th, 2001

Roman

Pluses and minuses.

Last night I went to a "Pampered Chef" party at the house of a fellow employee. The house is a newer one in a new subdivision in Arroyo Grande, and looked like a model, almost. Very tidy, new furniture, working its way into a personality. I thought, once again, no way could I ever have such a gathering at my house. People would just choke. Incomprehensible. Maybe in a year or so I will have stuff more or less in order but it will always be so MUCH.

The party reminded me that in some circles the fifties are still here. The implements are up to date but the techniques are the same. Almost everyone there had been to one of these parties before and I had never heard of them. It did feel like a time warp to me. I have so damned much kitchen equipment, of course, that I had no serious need of anything for sale there, fortunately. I didn't lust for anything that I don't have, either, although I like the idea of having more stoneware and the stoneware muffin pans intrigued me. I ended up buying a pan for the microwave - something I can see using a lot - and some nice salad tongs, better than what I have. Even these two small purchases got to over $19 once I added shipping and tax. We'll see if they are worth it.

I went in part because I stay home on weekends so much. I thought it would be good to get out and be with friends. I also thought it would be good if Dwain came over and found me not here. I am here too much, too available. I would like him to realize I won't always be here if all he does is take me for granted. It's just painful reality. But it hurts that I have a basket, a birthday gift, for him, and it sits here and who knows when he will be here to get it. I get excited about putting together gifts like this, perhaps because I have not always done it, because I have usually been rushed and not done as nice a job, so this gift is indicative of a change in my life. But at the same time it reminds me that he is not here, that I never know when he will be, that we don't have a real relationship.

Follow that up with the story of Elaine breaking up with her boyfriend. She called me, crying, yesterday, with her troubles. Rich was at the top of that list so I wasn't entirely surprised when she called today to say she is breaking up. She is in a lot of pain and I can do so little for her. On top of that, I feel like I keep switching the topic to me! What kind of empathy is that?? Yet pain is something we bear alone when it comes down to it. We parents so often want to take away the pain of our children and we can't.

So today I get back to cleaning the bathroom, working away at lifting the clutter out and away. Yesterday I put several pictures up on the wall above the piano and I enjoy looking at them now. I am no decorator but this place is surely mine. Perhaps with a vengeance, it just screams my name.
Roman

At my wit's end

The bathroom. I had already cleaned the tub and washed the floor. So I started on the cupboard under the sink. How hard can it be, you ask? There is a ton of stuff all over the sink now and on the floor, and I have only emptied the top shelf. I have managed to throw some things out, which is good, and put some things elsewhere, so I am headed in the right direction, I think. But I am going to have to decide which curlers to keep and which to give away, for example. I don't use them regularly so I don't know which are the better ones. I really don't know if this situation can truly be imagined by anyone else.
Roman

Jude the Domestic

Both shelves are emptied but the contents are not yet sorted out. I found two electic toothbrushes, Interplak, in there, and plugged them in. If they work, they will give me a little time to get a new Sonicare brush. Mine stopped working this last week, after many years of faithful service. It had been dropped often, probably once too.

I bought a bag of dough mix for soft pretzels when I stopped in Primm, Nevada on my way home from Vegas. Funny thing - when I think of malls I think of soft pretzels. I just now set up my bread machine to mix and rise the dough. Then I will make pretzels. Later, perhaps, some bean soup.

I am SO domestic. I think this is the main reason I could not contemplate a life on the road many years ago, when I was considering going for a career as a minor piano performer. I would have been lucky to get engagements, frankly, but if I did work it out I would have been driving all over the country, not having a real home. It just didn't work for me. The contradiction, then, is that for so many years my home has been virtually unusable, so I have blocked myself from what I love.
Roman

Chefs

Speaking of domestic. I have had the Discovery channel on, watching Christopher Lowell. Because he is concerned with cost and using space to its fullest, I can relate to much of what he does. And he's a kick to watch, anyway. But now it's one of those chef shows.

And here's my gripe. All these guys make food look THE SAME. Nobody has a clue how to decorate or present other than what is the current trendy gourmet look. The little towers drizzled with sauces, the sauce on the place, dessert on top, the dusting of this or that...always the same, always. They think they are creative and they are not. But it's indicative of all creative fields: I'd say at least 90% of those in any field are followers, learning the latest hip trends and thinking they are somehow original.
Roman

(no subject)

Wow. I got the cupboard cleaned out, the stuff off the floor, some stuff relocated, others thrown, and the rest put back in a way that allows me to put towels in there, too. It's looking good. And in time for Trading Spaces. I hope it isn't a rerun.
Roman

Trading

Uhoh. I have seen this one before. Well, just gives me more time to do the pretzels. The lentil soup is almost done, also.
Roman

Lunch is served

Good lentil soup, good pretzels. Only I don't seem to be stretching the dough enough. It springs back too much by the time I get it on the pan. I am also having to cook them two at a time in my little convection oven. Only two more to go after this batch. Good thing I didn't tell anyone I'd be making pretzels and promise anyone I'd bring them to work. They are funny looking, not quite normal.

I'd like to work in one of those pretzel joints for a little while, until I got the hang of the shaping and baking. But I can't imagine how I'd work that except to lie.
Roman

little solutions

Today it occurred to me that I could fix my leaking toilet with silicone sealant. The toilet is not flat on the floor because the floor under it is not level, not even. So even though I have replaced the wax seal many times it goes back to leaking in short order. So I thought maybe the silicone would work a little longer. I went out to get a tube and sealed it as much as I thought it needed. I can hope. I'd like my kids to be able to visit and use that toilet (I use one at the other end of the house) without it leaking all over the floor each time.
Roman

little solutions

Today it occurred to me that I could fix my leaking toilet with silicone sealant. The toilet is not flat on the floor because the floor under it is not level, not even. So even though I have replaced the wax seal many times it goes back to leaking in short order. So I thought maybe the silicone would work a little longer. I went out to get a tube and sealed it as much as I thought it needed. I can hope. I'd like my kids to be able to visit and use that toilet (I use one at the other end of the house) without it leaking all over the floor each time.