I intended on spending February using this space to recap past dates and blog about the fun goings-on here in San Fran. In real life, I planned on getting to know better certain people in my life, exploring new neighborhoods and eating more food. Oh, and not getting my heart crumpled like a used-up piece of paper. Obviously (and less obviously), nothing in February went according to schedule. Before I resume regular programming here for March, let me give you a quick catch up.
From the top:
February the beginning: I turned 39. Now, I am not one to sit around and bitch and moan about aging, because I realize I will never be younger than I am right now. (Pause for a second and let that soak again, because REALLY. Yeah.) I take decent care of myself and (possibly farsighted) men still whistle at me on the street occasionally and I have my sparkling personality and a great ass, so aging...whatever. Except 39 is the YEAR BEFORE 40, and just UGH. The word "mature" suddenly starts to resonate. Nonetheless, people were really lovely to me on my birthday, and my relentlessly optimistic nature had me looking forward to things...
February, Week One: ...for about 3 days. And then, the shit started to fall. Now, in the grand scheme of the universe, my life is still ridiculously awesome, so don't send me hateful messages or comments about "seeing the bright side" or "accentuating the positive". I see the fucking bright side, all right? Doesn't mean that I can't say something sucked. Here's what blows: I need to join an AA group. In my case, Assholes Anonymous. Because seriously, people, I am addicted to dramatic, emotionally bankrupt men. (And tell me, does this actually exist, because if not, I'm ready to start a support group. I can't be the only woman with this problem.) Anyways, the dramatic man who I just happened to be completely crazy about in a way I have not experienced in ages and spent way too much time
February, Week Two: You saw my Valentine's post, right? Despite being completely disillusioned (or illuminated? depends on your point of view) about my own love life, I plowed forward in platonic love for the holiday. And got a phone call mid-afternoon from my dad saying my mom had been diagnosed with breast cancer. At this point, I am not ashamed to admit that I yielded to melancholia, drank an entire bottle of champagne and went to bed at 8pm. I spent the rest of the weekend not answering phone calls or emails and scaring the shit out of 95% of my friends. Sometimes, you need to lean in to the feeling, you know? (Speaking of which, there is no confirmation that someone could care less about you quite like not hearing from them after a close relative is diagnosed with a serious illness. Rock? Meet Bottom.)
February, Week Three (oh my god how long does February last again?!): I emerge from my long weekend of womblike seclusion, stronger and ready to head to Florida for my mom's surgery. My childhood friends there were amazingly supportive and helpful and my mom totally nailed the surgery and emerged with a great prognosis. In a side note, my entire body rejected Florida (where I grew up and am convinced I developed a full body allergy to) and my face became red and splotchy (and has continued to stay that way) in a way that mimics how I feel about this whole goddamn month in general. Otherwise though, things were looking up.
February, Week Four (Is it over yet?!): Unlike much of the human race, I don't get self-destructive when I'm sad. That weekend I spent hibernating, I actually exercised, ate well, did not drink and slept a ton. When I feel bored though, I do stupid stuff. And after multiple weeks of stress and excitement, the down slope of returning to normal life was that little AA problem. Just enough time had passed for me to start thinking, "Well...what's the harm in X?" Luckily, I have a friend who was wise enough to say, "Can heroin addicts do heroin *just* on Saturdays??" No, no they cannot. Cold turkey is the only way to go. So...
The first week of March has led to new dates and new activities and new beginnings of new stories. It's brought back optimism about my mom's physical health and my emotional health. And while I'll still struggle with the fact that things I *so* wanted to believe were real and true were not, I also have hope that my new reality shows great promise. Years have passed, actually, with me always trying to get some man out of my brain. It's going to feel good to have my mind to myself for a while.
|The colors aren't great, but I SWEAR it was delicious.|
When I first saw this recipe, I thought, "Pistachios, citrus and olives?! Yuck." But, if life is going to throw the unexpected at you anyways, you might as well embrace it. I took a chance on this salad and was so glad I did. The salty, tangy, crunchy combination is divine. Unlike the men I tend to fall for.
FENNEL SALAD WITH ORANGE, GREEN OLIVES and PISTACHIOS
from Cooking Light magazine
Serves about 4
1 tbsp grated orange rind
3/4 cup orange sections (about 2 oranges), can be in pieces if you butcher citrus like I do
3/4 cup coarsely chopped green olives
2 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp fresh lemon juice
salt/pepper, to taste
2 small-medium fennel bulbs, cored and thinly sliced or shaved on a mandoline (remove tough outer leaves first and cut off fronds, saving some to use as garnish if you want)
1 cup roasted pistachios
1. Combine first set of ingredients in a bowl and toss gently.
2. Add fennel slices and toss with nuts and fronds, if desired.
March forward, people!