Romance Gone Sour

Lemon Marmalade

Lemon Marmalade with Mr. Wasabi

CAN YOU PINPOINT WHERE IT ALL FELL APART?

HE SAID
Very, very nice profile. I think we have a few things in common. I like Kafka’s writings especially In the Penal Colony, the Metamorphosis and one short story about strange people in a roadside ditch. Forget the title.

I loved how you described your love of cooking and how it’s your art. I can definitely resonate with that, not the cooking, but the passion. I love to paint, draw and write. Very surreal work. But I do love good food very much so and believe it is a definite art. Even though I’m vegetarian, I don’t preach about it nor does someone who eats meat around me bother me in the least. I think people should eat what they want. What are some of your favorite dishes to cook?

I too am a huge Iggy Pop fan, especially when he was in the Stooges. But he has a some great solo albums as well. Ever see him live? Such amazing energy.

Many of your favorite things are some of my faves too: crackling fire, nutella (god so good!), oak trees, first kisses, coffee in bed etc. I would personally add to that: chimney smoke on a cold autumn evening, the smell of fresh basil, hot showers, walking in the rain etc. Yeah, I’m a bit of a romantic

Ok, on that note…take care. Hope to hear from you.

SHE SAID
Iggy? Let’s talk about John Foxx! I love(ed) John Foxx back in the day – no one knows who he is – and it almost makes me wonder if our paths haven’t crossed during our youth.

I’m sitting here, in the Seattle Airport, on one of those airport pletherette ( my new word) chairs waiting for my flight home. I wish I could say this waiting creates the perfect canvas for a creative email in response to yours, but my surroundings are bereft of inspiration.

Penal Colony is one of my favorites and, well, Gregor Samsa and Metamorphosis introduced me to Kafka, so it will always be close to my heart, but I don’t think I’ve read about roadside ditch people – I must seek it out. Please let me know if you remember the name.

I would love to hear from you again – please do write back if you’d like.

HE SAID
Ah yes, John Foxx. His solo album Metamatic is excellent. In fact I like it better than his stuff with Ultravox. It’s a wonderful, cold, visual album. It’s on my iPhone right now in fact! ha! It’s funny how much another of my fave musicians, Gary Numan, took from him. Numan has actually said Ultravox was a big big influence on him. God, I love music.

So you were in Seattle. Business or pleasure? I hope your trip went well regardless. I always find airports to be excellent places for “people-watching”. I’ve seen soooo many characters during my times waiting in terminals. I’ve also filled up many sketchbooks with art while waiting.

Yeah, I’ll have to track down that Kafka short story. It had an impact on me. It was deeply atmospheric. I’m drawn to atmosphere in writing or art or film very very much so. Another of his stories that I love is The Hunger Artist. I think Kafka wrote that–it’s about a “thin-man” in a carnival from what I can remember. I love to read and write 🙂 How about you? Do you do any creative writing? I can tell that you already have a way with words.

SHE SAID

(Sent Story about Mr. Polka Dot – see June 1 post)

I love Metamatic, too. I never realized Gary Numan credited John Foxx for his work. I always thought he was heavily influenced by his early stuff. I was looking at my vinyl the other day, trying to determine how best to sell it (sob!) , when I came across a 12” Gary Numan (with Bill Sharpe) called “Change Your Mind.” While doing a quick online search to determine its value (not much), I found the video on YouTube. If you don’t know it….I highly recommend you watch it. It was cutting edge at the time – oh, those dot matrix printers! Regarding Ultravox, I’m a full-fledged Midge Ure fan. (God, I wish I was as in-tune – pun intended – about music in 2015 as I am about the 80’s).

So, you write, paint, drawn…is one a profession and the other two hobbies or all hobbies or ??? If you could only do one, which would you choose? What do you like to write?

HE SAID
Ok. You are an amazing writer! Your tale of Mr. Poka-Dot Sock Guy was hilarious!!! I loved the line, “he OJ Simpsoned through the terminal”. HA! Genius and so damn funny 🙂 But wow, what an adventure. I think you did the right thing so I wouldn’t worry about your traveling karma points. His socks, oh Jesus, so funny! So surreal. Your experience sounds like something that would happen to me. Seriously, I think my life is one long David Lynch film. That is of course both awesome and scary but oh well. I wish you could’ve taken a pic of his socks. It’s like you found some strange mythological species out in the wild. Heh.

Ah so for your question about whether or not I write/paint/make art as a profession. Nope would be the answer. The notion of being a starving artist, especially with the work I do, holds very true for me. And that’s ok. I don’t make art for others or for money. I make it because I enjoy the process and exploring different sides of myself and how I see things. Thankfully I have a full-time 40 hours a week job. I’m lucky to have a job in this economic climate so I’m not gonna complain especially since my life-path to this point has been anything but linear.

As for the type of stuff I write: it comes down to two areas. 1. poetry and 2. novels. In terms of subject it’s all very heavily atmospheric and surreal stuff. I wrote a small poetry book about the atmosphere of autumn. Specifically, for that project, many of the themes dealt with ideas concerning small spooky coastal towns, chimney smoke, secret meetings inside sleazy motel rooms, night drives through old neighborhoods, ancient Victorian houses, ghosts, people going missing etc. etc. It was a fun project. I’m currently working on a first draft for a strange, I suppose existential horror novel, that’s both erotic in parts and deeply disturbing in others.

All of these themes can also be seen in my drawings, collages and paintings. If you’re mildly curious to see some of my art, my Tumblr site is: xxxxxx. It’s very strange stuff, but I make no apologies for it even though it’s not everyone’s cup o’ tea. That’s ok. I just love doing the work.

It would be difficult to choose just one passion to do be it either art or writing. Each is so damn unique. And I can do things in art that I can’t in writing and vice versa. I guess I’d choose visual art. Tough choice.
Anyways, enough of my babbling. How has your day been? Are you re-cooperating from your trip? I always find that I sometimes need a vacation from when a trip/vacation is over 🙂 Tell me more about yourself. Anything random 🙂

SHE SAID
Thank you for the compliment but, I really don’t deem myself a writer. I have friends who are Writers (capital W) and I consider myself more of a dabbler – in most pursuits. My use of the term “dabbler” frustrates a friend greatly. He says I should either do something or not do something and he finds dabbling apathetic. At least I’m resolute in my apathy.

I’d prefer to play rather than focus. Technically, I’m a classically-trained Chef, but I would never use that term. In addition, I write about and photograph my food, but I don’t consider myself a food writer or photographer. I see stuff on LifeandThyme and realize how far I have to go to produce my vision. At one point, I took a ceramics class to make my own bowls/plates, but never became serious about it. It was fun to play with mud. I’ll probably pick it up again at some point, although never earnestly.

I checked out your Tumblr site. I’m a huge fan of German Expressionism as well as of Francis Bacon, so the fact that you stuff isn’t classically pretty and is a bit unsettling doesn’t bother me in the slightest. I prefer art that arrests the thought process (hmmm….no wonder she likes Kafka). I have a painting in my dining room that I’ve nicknamed “Angry Man” – he disturbs most of my dinner guests. My favorites of yours are Queen and Make a Wish. Tell me about them.

I’m convinced that whatever esthetic draws me towards outlier art is the same that makes me find scars so fascinating – there’s more to it than meets the eye, there’s a story behind it, it’s interesting. I’ve always wanted to do a B&W series of scars lit in the style of George Hurrell. Something else to dabble in.

HE SAID
Oh don’t sell yourself short when it comes to your skills as a writer. I for one think you’re excellent and you have a wonderful way with the written word and are very articulate–kinda sexy in my book. Do you have a blog where you write about the food you make? I’d love to see it if you’d be willing to share [Phoren: Ha – if only he knew he’d be a topic].

I personally find nothing wrong with “dabbling” in this or that. I think it’s good to explore. Why not? Life is short. I’d like to see the ceramic bowls you made sometime. I took a few ceramic classes here n’ there but I was never good at it. But I’d try it again. I did enjoy getting dirty with the wet mud. I enjoy getting my hands dirty when I make my art. When I make acrylic paintings, I don’t even use a brush but my fingers instead. I love texture and literally feeling my way through the process. The dirtier the better . Geez that sounded perverse. ha!

Thank you for taking a look at my Tumblr site and for your nice comments. Francis Bacon is one of my heroes. A truly wonderful artist. The two pieces you like, Queen and Make a Wish, were made at the same time if not during the same day. I can’t remember. It’s difficult to explain them in words–after all they’re purely visual and exist beyond the logic of words. But I’ll give it my best shot! Queen is yet another in a long long obsession I have with re-configuring the beauty of the female form. I also like to create strong, almost dangerous women. I get the sense of defiance in her expression mixed with beauty. There’s a sharp elegance to her lips and chin. She has the type of lips that I could spend hours kissing and toying with.

As for Make a Wish, that’s a spooky one alright. I like the texture in that one. It’s of a man who, like almost all of my figures, is either physically damaged or going through some sort of transformation. I’m not sure. But there’s also an elegance to him as well. I like that. I’m constantly exploring what others deem “ugly” in a more beautiful way.

It’s much like you said about scars. They tell stories. And I love stories. I love experienced people. All my figures have gone through so much, but have survived and it’s their wisdom that makes them wholly unique and compelling I think. And I think your idea of doing a b&w series of scars would be excellent. You have wonderful ideas.

Ok, switching topics for a sec. Would you like to get a cup of coffee or dinner sometime? Something casual. Or maybe talk on the phone beforehand? I’m very open and flexible.

SHE SAID
I’m afraid my schedule is very odd the next few weeks. We could meet on Thursday for coffee or a drink, but then I’m traveling for work again and won’t be home until the 22nd. Could that work?

HE SAID
Sure that might work. How much traveling do you do for your work on average?

SHE SAID
During the busy time, which is Spring, I travel 50%. The rest of the year, about one week a month. July and around the holidays, travel is strictly saved for my own enjoyment. Traveling for work is decidedly different than traveling for fun, and I’ve never quite been able to combine the two.

HE SAID
I see. That’s quite a bit.

SHE SAID
And…

HE SAID
Well I was just wondering if you have the time to date someone. I’m kinda looking to develop a deep meaningful relationship with a woman.

SHE SAID
I’m not interested in dalliances, either. I’ve had serious relationships in the past with my travel schedule but I won’t say it’s always easy. I find that we spend quality time together when I’m home and the time I’m away can be used for laundry days and errands. But, at this point, I think you may be over-thinking things a bit – we haven’t ever met for a drink yet. You may find my travel schedule the least of our shortcomings.

HE SAID
I’m like totally suffering from writers block right now in how to respond 😦 Sometimes I think I was born in the wrong era with all this email and internet stuff. I’m better on the phone and in person I think. Who knows. Sorry, I’m not making any sense. But please know that I’m not over-thinking things. I just was curious about your schedule and what you’re looking for. You’d be surprised by how many people don’t know what they want or need and beyond that, aren’t able to express that.

Well, I gotta go nurse a stomach ache. I think I drank too much coffee earlier. Uggg 😦

AND THEN SILENCE…

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For Kafka

Kafka

He was no bigger than her hand and just four weeks old, too young to be properly weaned. She chose him for his rambunctiousness – and for his pink nose that was entirely too big for his face and made her smile. She swaddled him in an old towel, flipped him unwillingly on his back and coaxed the bottle between his tiny, razor-sharp kitten teeth. “How could anyone be so heartless as to drown a litter of helpless kittens,” she thought as her new companion settled into slurping the milky formula. She had wanted a kitten for months, but her boyfriend had convinced her to wait until he moved in. Well, that wasn’t going to happen now, but at least she had the kitten – more dependable than any long-distance romance. They would save each other.

R.I.P
Kafka
March 4, 2001 – December 8, 2014

Fuck Off Pie

Baked and served during better times and office potlucks.

Baked and served during better times and office potlucks.

What kind of pastry best articulates “fuck off”? For some reason, I’m convinced it must be something French and complicated, with mille-feuille layers, inconceivable mountains of meringue, a generous filling of pastry cream, and decorated with a marzipan middle finger.

Well, we’ll have to leave my Fuck Off pastry for another day since I don’t have five hours of kitchen time in my immediate future. What, you may wonder, necessitates Fuck Off pie? Well, my present disillusionment is the result of a career betrayal two years in the making, and after almost 14 years of employment.   Perhaps I should bake a chocolate pie a la The Help instead. Eat my shit!

W.W.W.D?

What would Walter Do?

 This weekend, I gorged myself on Breaking Bad, the final season. I can’t help but want to kick some ass and take some names after eight hours of that show. No, I don’t want to kill 10 people in 2 minutes, but…my niceness and desire to be liked does no one any good, lest of all, me. Fuck you, I want my share!

 For example, for the last six months, I’ve been dealing with the smell of human urine coming from my neighbor’s backyard. Yes, human urine. My neighbor’s drug-addict, highly volatile son and wife have been sleeping in the garage for the past few years. If his son needs to relieve himself, he uses his backyard as his urinal. I’ve actually heard him when my bedroom window is open. It’s disgusting, but I’ve been afraid of his son, who has robbed various neighbors’ homes and has taken a swing at more than person, so I’ve kept my mouth shut. This weekend, I called my neighbor out – asking him why his backyard smells like human urine. If it doesn’t get cleaned up in the next few weeks, I’m filing a complaint.

 And, speaking of neighbors, I also wrote a letter to Animal control regarding another neighbor who’s incessantly barking dogs have ruined gardening in my backyard, my quiet evenings reading and my attempts to fall asleep. I’m sick of it.

 And, I’m pissed off at my cleaning company, who do a half-ass job AND took about five pounds of nectarines from my tree without even asking – I wanted to make jam. I’m firing their asses.

 While not even close to Walter White status, It’s a start, anyway. It’s a start.

Culinary Xanax

I’m not going to blame it on Friday the 13th, but I’ve had one hellacious day. The bathroom is getting a full remodel while I’m simultaneously having much-needed A/C installed before summer really gets its groove on.

Without giving you the hairy details, suffice it to say that customer service doesn’t appear to be a contractor’s forte – any contractor, I’m convinced. I’ve been waiting since 8 a.m. for the plumber and glass installers to arrive – only to find out neither are coming today – AND, icing on the cake, the newly-installed A/C is faulty. Grrr… My stress and anxiety are peaking – and my customary course of action, taking a nice long walk, isn’t available to me, least one of the workers arrive late.

I sit on the couch, watching Sherlock re-runs and planning my retribution. I’ll write the Licensing Board, send an email to the Better Business Bureau, call their mothers! Someone needs to feel my wrath! Even Benedict Cumberbatch’s cheekbones haven’t improved my disposition.

Breathe, missy, just breathe. Setbacks like these shouldn’t ignite an overreaction of this magnitude. House-bound with anxiety bubbling over, I have to find an outlet.   If not a walk, then into the kitchen I go. I am, by the way, not even hungry, but some sort of sweet treat will put me in a better frame of mind – my culinary Xanax.

I’ve secreted a recipe away just for a day like today. Ladies Home Journal entitled it “Try Some Insta-Cake and feel Insta-Better”, reprinted from the blog, A Farmgirl’s Dabbles. I thought it would make its debut after a breakup, but this seems to be a more apt occasion.  A recipe that can be mixed and cooked in under 10 minutes and result in two personal-sized goooey chocolate cakes. I’m beginning to feel restored already.

Gooey Chocolate Cake Cups for Two
¼ cup all-purpose flour
¼ cup sugar
¼ cup cocoa powder
Pinch salt
¼ cup milk
¼ cup butter, melted
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
1 tsp vanilla
¼ cup semisweet chocolate chips

  • Stir together flour, sugar, cocoa powder and salt. Add milk, butter, eggs and vanilla (I mixed these ingredients together first before adding them to the dry). Stir well to incorporate. Fold in chocolate chips.
  • Divide batter between two microwave-safe mugs and sprinkle extra chocolate chips on top.
  • Microwave both cups together on high for 2 minutes. The cakes should be very moist and gooey in the middle. Allow cakes to cool for 15 minutes before serving.
  • Curl up on the couch, breathe deeply, and enjoy guilt free – this is medicine; you need it.

One cake for today and the other for tomorrow – did I mention I have painters arriving at 7 a.m.?
Cake