Thursday, February 11, 2010

Elephant & Castle

There's a song by Houston Calls that I've always identified with--and have used in previous posts. But this time it carries more weight.

"Please just go little girl", the city calls to her
This is your chance, this is your freedom

From the last time that I posted about running off to Europe for a couple weeks, I've made some changes. I know a bit more about my itinerary, for one:
2/14: Land in London (assuming I can leave New Jersey)
2/16: Fly to Zurich
2/18: Fly to Cologne
2/21: Fly to Milan
2/24: Fly to London
And that's when things get a bit crazy...because I'm not flying back to the States until 3/22. That's right. A month in London!

"Please don't go little girl", her father says to her
It won't work out, it won't be easy

The speed with which this all happened is what lets me not dwell on what might not be easy about being away for six weeks. Obviously there will be culture classes and the missing of people and the feeling as though I'm not quite fitting in and the not having of a bed for a month.
I get to live in London.
I get to pretend that it's my home, I get to go off to an office (volunteer, but still!), I get to learn its streets and its pubs and I get to watch football.

Thinking back to the times when
She spent it all dreaming...

It's no secret that my mind has been living in the GMT for months. Now I'm lucky enough that the rest of my self gets to go along. LONDON BABY! The laptop is going, so expect photos will be posted. But don't expect too much out of this blog. I'll be writing furiously on 7500 to Holte, our new Villa blog, as well as in a few other places (I hope). But if you want non-footie news, it's probably best to just stick with my twitter, as I'm thinking I won't be able to throw up big posts often.


Sunday, January 31, 2010

I want to be somewhere else

Once again I find myself watching the sky. Although it's 8am, the light is still wavy, and there's a tension between the lead grey skies on this side of the sound and the bleached out blue trying to emerge out above Bremerton.

I'm watching the sky and thinking about how, two weeks from today, I'll be seeing the sky from 4700 miles away. 8 time zones. Something like 18 hours on a plane. But considering my mind seems to reside in GMT half the time anyway, I'm not sure it will be that much of a change.
Let's back up. A few days ago, I was offered the opportunity to head to Europe almost-free. The catch? Leaving in two weeks. Now, I realize that leaving a job when unemployment hovers around 10% in this state is possibly one of the dumbest things a girl can do. However, I do have freelance work, and I live rent-free. After I start law school, when will I have this opportunity again?
I also believe this is something I need to do for my health--both mental and physical. I need to wrap my head around the rest of my life. I have to figure out which school I am setting out for next year (8 possibilities so far). And I have to come to terms with where I am in physical health. It's been nearly 2 years that I've had endo, and yet I still haven't adapted. I don't want to acknowledge I have a chronic pain condition, and I certainly try to ignore my compromised immune system. I operate as though I am in ultimate health. Before I settle into this new stage of law school, I need to figure out how to cope with the days I can't sit up, or need to sleep for sixteen hours. I need to play with diet and I need to strengthen my core. I've been trying for the past six months, but I constantly slip up due to the demands of two jobs, a commute, and attempting to have a social life. If I pull myself out of that cycle, I hope I can figure out exactly what helps my health.
So I've thrown up the flag of surrender and I'm escaping across the Atlantic for a few weeks. While Susan doesn't exactly know where her job is sending her, I know I'll be in Germany and Switzerland, and we might get to head to Italy. And after she leaves, I'm headed to London (!!!) to see K1 and Richard and just be in my favorite city for a few days. Hope to do some volunteer work. be at least near Wembley on February 28th for the League Cup final. Yes, I'm that crazy that I will head that direction (Wembley, not Europe in general) just to be near where the Villa will be playing.
The last blog I posted said I wouldn't be using this one for awhile, as I just couldn't find a direction for it, and I wanted to embark on a new project. This is not my new project, but it's certainly an opportunity to quench my wanderlust for a year or so. I'll try to post here while I'm away, and if I've a few months of unemployment on my hands, I'll be posting some recipes when I return.
But for now, time to track down the passport, call the credit card companies, and deliberate over how many pairs of shoes I can fit in my suitcase. I'm going to Europe!!!!!!

Wednesday, January 20, 2010


As someone with a passionate interest in food, I get asked quite a bit what I think of the book/movie Julie and Julia. Leaving my personal feelings about Julie Powell aside (she's already been thoroughly trashed by many writers) I can see how the concept can be quite appealing: Find a project, a goal, completely unrelated to your daily life, and throw your heart and your fingers into it. Then you don't have to focus on your unsatisfying job or the cracks in your relationship.
I was thinking about this as I walked home on Monday. I breathed in the scent of Puget Sound and thought, home. And then I thought, and I'm ready to go again. Others get a seven-year itch. Me, I get a 1.5 year itch, and then I'm set to take off again. New places, new faces, new smells.
But I'm not going anywhere. At least, not for six more months. So what to do when the January doldrums hit? Should I, too, pick a cookbook and attempt to create each recipe? The thing is, I'm just not feeling it. I've tried so hard with this blog, trying to give it a direction, a shape, and it doesn't seem to want to work. I'm either too earnest or not earnest enough. I'm hyper-concerned about offending people at times, and other times it seems I intentionally offend. Through it all, I feel my voice is stifled, because I am trying so hard to find a balance--when in fact I can't even say succinctly what that balance might be.
So maybe it's time to let go for awhile. While I'll still use this place to throw up a great recipe or convey some random thoughts to far away family and friends, it's never going to be the place I wanted it to be. And that's ok. A few people have found some excellent tips and ideas. That's what I wanted. And maybe if I don't concentrate so intensely on it, more of those easy recipes will come.
But for now, I have another dream, another goal, another love...and I want to see if I can make that one work.
Cross fingers.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

You Live the Life You're Given

some days

all I do

is watch

the sky

This guilt feels so familiar and I'm home.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Sustainable Tastes

A few nights ago we hit up TASTE Restaurant at the Seattle Art Museum. Now, normally I am not a fan of restaurants attached to things...museums, hotels, stadia, etc. But I'd read an article on TASTE and knew that they focused on locally raised meats, locally grown produce, and sustainably caught fish. They cultivate relationships with farmers and regularly change their menu to reflect the season. All of this led me to give the restaurant a try, despite its slightly intimidating feel. Now we are regulars. The menu is a bit pricey (although certainly comparable to many other downtown restaurants who do not focus on local products) but we have attended the urban suppers ($12!) and had the three course, $30 menu.
But overall we are regulars at happy hour. It's tough, coming from the Eastside, to make it before 6pm, so we take any chance. They have a superb head bartender in Duncan, who insists people taste the wines and liquors and beers. A better tap list would make TASTE hour of happy even better, since 18 oz of beer can be had for $3, but now that they have Flor de Cana, I shan't complain. Bar food is $6 and so we can make a decent meal at a reasonable price. And we always, always get at least one order of rosemary frites.
The rosemary frites are delicious--crispy on the outside, soft on the inside, and nice and salty and fragrant. But (coming back to the beginning of the post)on Thursday there was something just a They weren't bad, but they weren't mouthwatering. So we mentioned this to Duncan, and he brought us a new order. Although we wanted it to be just a bad batch, it wasn't--the second order still fell flat.
So Duncan sent out Craig Hetherington, Executive Chef. At first we felt bad because, c'mon, they're just fries. But then we realized we are experts on their frites. But what I was most impressed by was not the customer service--even though it goes above and beyond each time, and this was even further beyond--but the fact that Craig was able to explain to me exactly what he believed to be wrong with the potatoes, and the fact that TASTE is a restaurant that enables him to know this.
The potatoes, you see, had not come from Washington. TASTE gets many of their specialty potatoes from Olson Farms, but the russets typically come from a produce distributor. Still they try and source them from within the state, but the distributor had run short of Washington potatoes. These ones just didn't taste the same.
Silly traveling potatoes. Eat local. Support nearby business, particularly ones that know the names of the small farms from which they obtain their produce. Encourage the connections between the rural and urban economies. Be willing to pay a bit more to know exactly where your food originated. The less it travels, the better it tastes.
(Exceptions made for Belgian beer, sriracha, and coffee)