23 March 2013

Checking in; Spaghetti and GLAMs

A presumption: you know how people ask you if you’re OK and you just say, without thinking, yes? For me, my relatives and other people to whom I report (willingly and unwillingly) ask me, “How’s [work] going?” and “How’s IIN going?” Sometimes my coworkers will ask me if I’m OK when I think I am OK. I really am OK. But it's a good question to ask sometimes to get below the surface. What am I missing about me? What do others see that I don’t see about me? </insecurity>

Every week I basically ask myself this with my The Artist’s Way check-in questions. Did I do my morning pages, did I do my artist’s date, did I go for walkies, did I notice any synchronicity, do I have other issues, and how was the experience of all the above? Heck, every morning with the blank pages of my morning pages notebook or my IIN journal I must confront this—am I OK?

Well if you wanted honesty/ that’s all you had to say.
--My Chemical Romance, “I’m Not Okay (I Promise)” (subsequent music quotes from same source; exceptions noted)

I’m OK as in I’m alive, gainfully employed, pursuing hobbies, eating, sleeping, exercising. I’m noticing that I’m not OK with exactly that about which people ask me. These areas of my life are going, but whether they’re going where I had imagined they would—both positively and negatively—that’s where we’re beginning to not be OK. I’m in the cryptic phase of change again where mostly what I’ve got to show is anger and staring off into the distance.

Last week’s very bad date reminded me of a thought I’ve had bouncing around for a while. You know, I write a pretty darn domestic blog here. I would make a really damn good wife. Or housekeeper. I cook, clean, do handicrafts, and can self-manage. In that case, I would be a good pioneer wife, where the other partner is away from home and the partner at home must mind the house, protect the land, and care for the animals. I’m not necessarily looking for a partner, just making it known that I’d be a good one. Just sayin.’

I give you a recipe inspired by the Pioneer Woman, Ree Drummond, for linguine with clams. She served it to her husband the first time she cooked for him when they were dating, and he choked it down even though he hated seafood! Spaghetti and clams was a staple in la casa Miceli growing up.

While I would like to say the white wine I used was vegan, my phone died as I was using Barnivore to research vegan wines, and I couldn’t find anyone in specialty to help me. Gatao Vinho Verde seemed cool (OK, I bought it for the cat on the bottle), and it came in a smaller-than-750 mL bottle.

Put on some David Bowie and eat it in the atrium of your favourite art museum and call it a GLAM dish.

Spaghetti and GLAMs

16 ounces GF spaghetti or linguine (I used half a box of corn-quinoa spaghetti and half a package of brown rice linguine)
water to cook the pasta

1/2 cup arame (seaweed)
1/2 cup dillisk or dulse

1 onion, half-mooned
3 cloves garlic, sliced thin (or pressed, however you like)
3/4 cup white wine
1 teaspoon dried basil
1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 cup coconut curls, unsweetened (the big ones)
1 16-ounce package frozen broccoli (chopped or not is up to you), mostly defrosted
black pepper to taste

Bring a large pot of water to boil and cook the pasta according to package directions. When it’s done, drain the water and return the pasta to the pot.

Rinse the arame and dillisk. Place in a bowl and cover with water. Set aside to soak for 15 minutes then drain.

Meanwhile, heat a large skillet over medium heat. Add the onions and garlic and stir, cooking until they become slightly translucent. Add the wine and turn up the heat.  Add the basil, red pepper flakes, and coconut. Cook until the liquid is mostly evaporated, about 10-15 minutes (don’t give yourself a hangover!).  Add the broccoli and drained seaweed and stir. Cook until the broccoli is heated through.  Stir in the pasta and cook for another minute before turning off the heat. Season with black pepper and serve.

If you drink, serve with more white wine. Rule of thumb for cooking with wine is don’t use anything you wouldn’t drink. Well, I don’t drink, and this wine tasted alright. I now have half a bottle for which I need another recipe. This is also the second recipe in a row on this blog with alcohol, and I wasn’t even writing a series of posts.

Some check-ins.

Green smoothies every morning is going well. By eating sufficient calories in the morning, I’m not hungry later in the day (like that 3 PM stretch, whenever that is on my schedule). I think I live in another time zone because I work later shifts. Considering how I want to move west (undefined, just west), that’s not a bad thing. I have lost three pounds by making sure I eat a complete breakfast (smoothie and homemade whole grain bread or oatmeal) and by stepping up my exercise game (literally—running 2 days a week, total of 4 days of cardio, yoga and dance or pilates on the other three, weight training 3 times a week). As I said in the previous post, real girls lift heavy.

A few years ago, I checked out Dr. Joel Fuhrman’s Eat to Live from the library. I left it in obvious places, but I don’t think my dad ever looked at it. I picked it up to make sure I was doing this veganism thing correctly; I was. I like Dr. Furhman’s formula for ideal weight. For a female—
95 pounds for the first five feet of height plus four pounds for every inch after 5 feet.

So for Q, I am about 5’3”.
95 + 12=107 lbs. This number checks out with my life history since I maintained about 105-107 lbs for a year and a half. Then I became a senior in college, wrote a thesis, had a sit-ass job, and put myself through a lot of stress, gaining about 15 pounds in a year-plus. Before you get all “OMG EAT SOMETHING YOU’RE TOO SKINNY” on my ass, my weight is mainly muscle; it’s up now because I have a lot of body fat on my stomach, hips, and thighs that’s unnecessary, disproportional, and dangerous if accepted as status quo. Hence why we exercise hard, eat well, and sleep right to tone flab and lose the fat that’s covering said muscle. I’m feeling better for my efforts and am excited to continue them.

I’ve told you time and time again you sing the words but don’t know what it means.

Check-in on the music fast. It’s Palm Sunday tomorrow. Friday I can listen to music with lyrics again. Not having control over my musical intake has been most interesting. At work, I’ll hear a good song and sing along, then the next song will be some kind of crap. I’ve become more superstitious about the songs that I hear. Shutting down lyrical intake is one thing; increasing poetic intake is another. The two are indeed mutually exclusive. On one hand, I realise how many song lyrics I know off the top of my head. On the other hand, I don’t spend that much time solely listening to music to have gained time from this exercise. Unlike when I was in high school and gave up listening to Marilyn Manson for Lent, I don’t think that singing along to Christian Death’s “Spiritual Cramp” puts me in spiritual jeopardy:

Jesus won’t you touch me
Come into my heart
Where the hell are you
When the fire starts?

It’s a song. It’s art, it’s powerful, these words sometimes describe my spiritual struggles, but they don’t define me as a person, and I can sing it with impunity on a Sunday…on the way to or from church. I miss my music and have plans to buy more albums as I meet certain health goals.

I held you close as we both shook/ for the last time, take a good hard look!

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