You Running To Jump In

I do not actually have a giant hand. UNLESS I DO!

I took the day off from work today to run some errands. At 10, I went back to the orthodontist. This was a slapstick affair. My front teeth crumbled over the winter and were replaced, which is a terror-neutral way to describe weeks of credit-destroying dental work followed by months of retainer aversion, all resulting in my telling the orthodontist, “Dude, I’m here for adult supervision and you are that.” He fixed my retainer and did not mock me for turning myself in, which was generous for a guy donating his time. The office did not charge me for the five minutes he spent adjusting the retainer with tin snips and a Cheshire Cat grin. Then I took my car to the inspection station. That gasp you just heard was your fellow New Jersey reader picturing me making conversation with a plumber named Jerry, when that guy will suggest that state workers are overpaid no matter where you find him. Ordinarily, I would filet that guy, but today I smiled sweetly and left without a police escort.

Yogurt-making is prop-intensive.

After lunch at home, I went to the eye doctor’s office, where I was declared remarkably healthy. That’s right: not just healthy, but remarkably healthy. I wondered if the eye doctor should get out more if my eyes’ near-normal wetness was worth a glowing mention. We discussed readers of various strengths and whether or not my diet included Omega 3 fatty acids and antioxidants. I was given a prescription I did not understand for glasses I would be buying at Costco, and after a $15 co-pay, I left for the radiologist. There, a technician pushed me into position on a table and took x-rays while I held my breath. I’d spent the morning in one town and the afternoon in another. All of this was possible because I have the state employee health insurance plan. I believe we should all have the same thing, only it should be called our national health service and should banish from its precincts for-profit insurers, which contribute ZERO to our society’s well-being. Health care for everyone seems like such a simple concept. You would think everyone would want it.

To Be Told But I’ve Heard

This object exists.

When I was a working artist in the nineties, I spent every waking moment reading, writing, working, thinking, writing, dancing, seeing art, hearing music, exercising, writing, reading and sleeping my way up and down the Eastern Seaboard. It would be hard to overstate how dedicated I was to whatever – and whomever – I was doing during those years, should you find yourself stating anything about me, but then you’d be talking about me and I hope it’s because I’m delightful now and not because I borrowed your husband for a torrid affair no one remembers anyhow. Like I said: dedicated. Single-minded. Obsessive. Completely focused on what I was doing, what I’d be doing next and how little time I had to produce the next project: that was my life. Miss Sasha could wander through here any old time now and tell you what a picnic I wasn’t to live with and when my brain went BOOM! I became a day at the land-mined beach.

That brings us to now. For the first time in my entire life, I do not feel much like using words. This is a baffling sensation for me. Words are my paint and paintbrush, my guitar and drum. I can barely summon the will to finish sentences half the time and if I had any skill at all with a camera this would be a photo blog. I don’t know what this all means. Perhaps it’s a stage of life or a stage in every artist’s life where the medium falls away and something else presents itself. At the moment, I want to communicate through the colors and textures of pickled beets and peach butter. The internet, while very useful, does not yet offer us the fragrances of cinnamon and sweet basil. I don’t know how to talk to you without rosemary-infused olive oil.

And there is never enough time to talk, is there? Especially when we don’t want to. There’s never enough time when berries are ripe and skin is warm with sweat and we move through this sweet quietude. In other news: near my sister’s house sits an enormous dairy farm. The homeowners’ association is most exercised about the aroma of cow poop on the breeze.

An Island In Our Boat Upon

I forgot what I was going to say. Let me start over:

This morning, my co-worker stepped off the bus and onto the curb. At the same moment, elastic let go and her pants fell to her ankles. The bus driver, seeing this, said, “Have a good day, ma’am.”

Our lives are short. I try not to wish away time I’ll never get back or remember when I last got my car inspected. This weekend: it’s blackberries or bust and no second chances. There is still time for golden beets.

I meant to say those things. And these, too:

Imagine the grandest salad. Statistically speaking, there will always be one more pistachio.

Do you remember when cicada song and cooling sweat at the nape of your neck signified a new day and your own endless possibility?

I Think It’s You Instead

Blueberry pie filling to the rescue!

We’ve begun the final days of the Tour de France and the second half of July. At our house, we’ve finally turned on the air conditioners in the evenings, to help us sleep and let our cats regain that all-important third dimension. Me, I stayed home today with a bit of back trouble. It was the strangest thing, but I couldn’t keep my eyes open and quickly quit trying. The most strenuous thing I did was to simmer stock. I’d love to say I’m feeling 100% up to snuff, but I’m not and snuff is stinky anyhow. A little more sleep will fix me right up.

My Voice Too Rough From Cigarettes

Haven’t figured out why yet, but I joined Twitter. This immediately gave me a headache and made me love Steve Martin more, since he doesn’t write in Twitter’s secret code language. Do not pretend that Twitter is not peepulated with cool-kid code. It certainly is and that is a bore. Strange upside: Mr. Bittman might introduce us to someone interesting.

Prior to pursuing his nutrition studies, Andy [Bellatti] completed a bachelor’s degree in journalism and gender & sexuality studies at New York University.

His passion for nutrition was partially sparked by the sheer confusion he used to experience when trying to determine what constituted healthy eating in a society where nutrition messages are often clouded by marketing, sales profits, and hype.

Hey! I’m confused all the time! He sounds promising. What’s he on about?

…I’m shining the spotlight inward, taking a look at pervasive, accepted, and often times unquestioned concepts, ideas, and issues within the field of nutrition that carry a significant risk of self-harm. They are dangerous because they don’t allow for growth, critical analysis, or substantive dialogue; instead, they minimize the nutrition field’s importance and have helped create the current free-for-all we are in, where the term “nutrition expert” is as loosely thrown around as “reality TV star”.

Ooooooh. Mr. Bellatti, you have my undivided attention. Tell me more.

  • 1) “There is no such thing as junk food”/”there are no bad foods”
  • 2) “Moderation!”
  • 3) “Healthy Eater = Red Flag”
  • 4) “You Have To Be Realistic”
  • 5) The American Dietetic Association Isn’t A Health Organization
  • It is hard to imagine how Mr. Bellatti wrote that entire post without sticking an ADA monogrammed pen through the ribcage and enlarged heart of a junk food-defending dietitian. You should read the whole thing and the comments, too, for extra goobertastic entertainment. For the life of me, I can’t figure out what the point of getting a degree in food science is if you’re scared to even ever-so-gently TELL PEOPLE ABOUT GODDAMN FOOD SCIENCE. Fast food is not food. That’s not a secret you should prepare to take with you to the grave, nutritionists!

    Sing out!

    Some people argue that if we do not preach moderation, we are setting the stage for unreachable perfectionism and eating disorders, a position that I find grossly melodramatic. Recommending that people shy away from fast food whenever possible is not about perfection; it’s healthful advice.

    Who are these professionals who say stopping at McDonald’s is a fine idea? Who are they? What exactly is wrong with them? I’d really like to know.

    How Deep Do You Hold

    Pete took this picture after the sun fell over the trees. We finally have zucchini coming in, which is good because zucchini plants are crazy drama queens.

    Here is a simple thing: this morning, Pete and I went out on an early bike ride. The air was crisp and clear, the sun bright, the power walkers looked jaunty. I rode the majority of the course with my hands over my head, pretending to win a stage of the Tour de France – one of the tough stages in the Alps, where the winner really sticks it to the entire peloton and not one of the flat stages where twelve large men cross the line so close together only the cameras can tell who won. Oh who cares? It’s a stage at the Tour and my sponsors will go crazy! I win!

    …And then I was yelling at the driver going the wrong way on the one way park road in a decidedly Jersey fashion.