Thursday, September 20, 2007

The Only Phone Calls I've Gotten On My Landline Are Telemarketers, Or, Fall Reminds Me Of Aging

And I have no idea how to retrieve my messages anyway, so this is probably as it should be. Oh: and once I called myself--only to see if my phone number works.

It does.

I could summarize this week, but instead I'll say that I am really REALLY looking forward to this weekend, which I suspect will be amazing. Tomorrow night, the LT and I will be volunteering at the Fremont Oktoberfest, which I think will be some work, but also a blast, and then Saturday we get to actually GO to Oktoberfest! For free!

Sunday I think we have something or other. (My apologies if whoever we're spending time on Sunday is reading this. You're important. I swear.)

On the Radar This Week, or, What This Post Is Really About

I've been spending all my free time (what there is of it) with my old friend Beau Prichard, who besides having a brand-new book out, is also starring in Conor McPherson's St. Nicholas, an engrossing drama about a real prick of a theater critic (but aren't they all?) who ends up working for vampires and discovers what real evil is. (I can't help but wonder if Mr McPherson got in a few personal zings against theater critics that may or may not have lambasted him in the past.)

It's a one-man show, and Beau is in the process of learning his lines, not an easy feat when it was written by an Irishman with apparently no grammar school education; the changes in tense throughout are appalling. He keeps me in Sparks Light and I pace around his apartment in the Central District, wearing holes in the rug, or occasionally stretching between paces, hearing my joints pop. His roommate, a real darling whom I would have fallen for were I five years younger, pokes his head around corners and makes sarcastic comments between riffs on Guitar Hero. It's all very "we'll look back on this one day and laugh", or at least it would be if Beau and I both weren't closer to thirty than we are to twenty. Still, I'm proud of him--the man can actually finish his novels, something I've yet to do--and as life expectancies lengthen, we have more and more years to make our own paths rather than needing to hop on pre-made ones to save time.

Not that Beau is particularly behind--he's not. As I said, he's written far more novels than I have and actually has one available to sell. And my perspective is skewed, too. One of the reasons I love living in Capitol Hill is that it keeps me with one foot in the art scene, one eye watching people who have carved out unusual lives for themselves and don't seem burdened down by guilt that they're not Type-A enough, and half my brain on my novel. The other half of my brain, of course, is focused on nanotechnology, giant lasers, and chemicals galore. The other half of my brain is stressing that I won't put my name on a patent or make sweeping changes in the Lazy B before my car loan is up (the end of my short-term goals). The other half of my brain is constantly pushing myself to do better and better things while I'm this young, racing against the clock.

In addition, people keep getting married on me, which can (in my darker moments) contribute to my sense of urgency. I do also realize that just because some of my friends are married doesn't mean that they have their lives any more settled or have necessarily accomplished more. (I mean, marriage is a big accomplishment, don't get me wrong. But it's not necessarily a good analogy for winning a patent, or writing a novel, or starting a full-fledged acting career. I don't know if you can ever really cross marriage off on a list titled, "Things Done.")

However. In the midst of all this strife, I recently devoured "Alone in the Kitchen With An Eggplant", a wonderful collection of essays written by authors who love food and cooks who love to write, about that extremely personal of issues: cooking and eating for and by yourself, and only yourself. I read every single word--parts of it I even went back and read again--and it's so wonderful. Not just because I get to peek into the private lives of some amazing people and some of my favorite cooks, but also because like a good music anthology, it almost accidentally covers the extremely complex relationship that humans have with food, both good and bad, and the specific periods of life that such relationships recall. I read about apartments the size of postage stamps and cooking setups with two burners and no kitchen sink, meaning that Laurie Colwin had to do her dishes in her bathtub, I read about mothers getting angry about secretly consumed carbohydrates, and about the best salsa rosa ever, one I intend to try immediately if I ever go back to cream. Indeed, the best essays were part food and part memoir, times of extreme loneliness at 26 and wondering what effect the hash had on the food at the ripe old age of thirty. It's essays like that that I live for, reminding me that perfection is impossible--especially in my kitchen--and that one's life at 26, even though it seems settled, may not even resemble one's life at 30, which is good because that's after my short-term goals are over and I think I'll want to do something else.

Optional funny ending: I was with Tut-Tut just last night (maybe at some point in the future I'll open up a school for girls) and I was having her write an essay on technological changes and how they've improved--or ruined--our lives. She was having a hard time thinking of an example. "What about texting?" I said.

"But texting's not NEW," she said in tones of great disgust. "Texting has been around FOREVER."

1 comment:

Beau said...

Thanks for the plug(s), princess. Nice find on my novel's website, btw, since it went live about an hour before your blog did, according to my calculations.