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Married To The Sea
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Nov. 21st, 2011

Lookies! Another infrequent post!
Eek, only a couple days to Thanksgiving and I'm starting to get turkey anxiety...
A couple months ago, in what was either an act of bravery or stupidity, I volunteered to do this year's Thanksgiving turkey, as my aunt's mother-in-law (with whom we usually spend Thanksgiving) is elderly, rather frail, and has to watch her money carefully these days.
My problem is, I get cocky about things when they are a long way off, and then anxious as they approach. And despite the fact that I've taken culinary arts classes, I do not consider myself a competent cook when it comes to recipes that involve meat. My parents are vegetarians, and I was born and raised veggie, until I joined the Dark Side (dark meat?) when I was a tween. While I like eating the stuff, I don't have much practical experience in preparing it.
I'm going to use a recipe from this month's issue of Bon Appetit, and I currently have a turkey defrosting in the fridge, which I might end up poking frequently and nervously, praying that it thaws in time to cook. Here's where I get flustered; I have to rub seasoned butter on the turkey, let it sit uncovered in the fridge (which I share with the parents), and make sure that the thing cooks to a suitable internal temperature, while hoping that it doesn't dry out or take up too much room in the oven, so that my mom has space for the stuff that she's making. And I also have to make gravy, but I figure if I botch that, it's not too big of a deal. And then I have to transport the turkey to my aunt's MIL's place, and figure out how to reheat it.
Mostly, I'm freaked out about the potential for food-borne illness. My inner vegetarian wonders why in the heck we, as Americans, still make such a weird, gross bird the centerpiece of a meal, especially when the majority of us would turn and run the other way if confronted by a full-grown, angry tom.
Well, if I really screw up, I could just tell my dad to call my aunt (who he doesn't even like that much, anyways) and tell her that the car wouldn't start, and then see if the amazing Indian place in Troy is open and holding their lunch buffet. And if now, to hell with it, pizza...


Writer's Block: 9/11

Where were you?

Ten years ago, I was in my senior year of high school. However, I had a minor cold or allergies, and managed to convince my mom that I should stay home from school. In retrospect, I probably should have gone to school, but I was not a particularly driven or even good student, and I relished any opportunity to stay home. So I went back to sleep for a couple hours. When I woke up, I went out into the living room and turned on the TV.
I'm not really sure why I turned on the TV at all, but I saw the breaking news and my sleep/cold medicine befogged mind interpreted this as "Oh, what war/action movie is this?" Then I woke up a little and realized "Hey, shouldn't there be talk shows or a small claims court show on at this time of day?" And then my next though (I'd like to consider myself at least somewhat smarter than this memory makes me out to be) was "Oh shit..." That's when the second tower was hit. The newscast was live from New York, and I remember the look of confusion and fear on the reporter's face when he saw the impact of the plane on Tower 2. I watched for a few more minutes, to reassure myself that what I was seeing was indeed real. Then I called my mom, who was at work, and asked her if she had heard what was happening, and she said that her boss had come into the office and turned on the radio, so yes, she had heard the news. I don't remember clear details after that, aside that my predominant thought was "Welcome to adulthood."
I went back to school the next day, and there was this aura of mixed emotion, a combination of shock and grief, but also a weird undercurrent of excitement. There's a part of me that wishes I had been at school on 9/11, but I know that those of my generation will remember the day for the rest of our lives.
Oh, and that day also happened to be my grandmother's birthday. She was turning 69, and overall that day must have been a real downer for her. 9/11 is always a difficult day for me, both in terms of the national tragedy, and remembrance of my grandmother, who died several years ago. I still miss her like crazy.

Writer's Block: Peace of mind

What kind of spiritual or meditative practice keeps you feeling zen?

Chocolate. But only good chocolate.

Writer's Block: Hocus pocus

If your parents were transformed into their true animal spirits, what animals would they be?

Yes, I still use this journal from time to time, I just haven't gotten around to updating in a while, but I have to answer this because I'm a New Age-y flake when it comes to these sorts of things.
My mom would be an otter, my dad would be a hawk, and my brother would be a jackrabbit or a hare.

Writer's Block: Cool places

To my LJ friends, sorry that I haven't been replying to comments. I'm still here, I've just not been feeling motivated to journal.

What's your favorite city or town that you've visited? Why do you love it?

As far as big cities go, Osaka. It's huge, it's consumerist, it's overstimulating and creative and tasty. I'd love to go back again, with a better command of Japanese and much, much more money to spend.

As far as cities closer to home, Traverse City. It's got everything a big city needs, but if you drive 30 mins in any direction (except West), buildings give way to cherry orchards and beautiful northern scenery. It also has a number of good restaurants, and plays host to an annual film festival.

Writer's Block: MAKE IT STOP!

What was the last song you couldn't get out of your head no matter how hard you tried?

my last ohrwurm was actually "Grandma's Cheese", an animation found on http://www.weebls-stuff.com
it's weird, but catchy as hell.

Writer's Block: A rose by any other name

Do you like your birth name? If you had the opportunity to change it, would you? What new name would you choose?

I'll be honest about this one, my given first name IRL is Sarah, and I hate, hate, hate it! I was born in 1983, and I swear that every tenth female baby born between 1980-1990 has the name Sarah, or some variation thereof. It's a name from the Old Testament, and this didn't help matters when I moved to a very Jewish neighborhood in the fifth grade. Ironically, the class was finishing Sarah Plain and Tall, and guess what two descriptors fit this Sarah at the time? I also dislike the fact that it means "princess" in Hebrew, which is something I've never been, though I have met a couple other Sarahs who were nasty, stuck up little brats. I'm not sure what I'd prefer as a first name, something a little more fierce perhaps. Thing is, I can't think of any really "fierce" names that don't sound like an exotic dancer's stage name. Maybe something gender neutral would fit me best.
My surname I'm not going to reveal here, but when I was a little kid, I thought it sounded goofy. I like it now, but I do get irratated when I get the odd bit of junk mail in Spanish.

Writer's Block: I'm off to see the wizard

Are there any movies that you absolutely loved when you were younger that you've watched again and found awful or ridiculous?

The movies that immediately spring to mind for me are Home Alone 1 and 2. As a kid, I found them to be pretty entertaining, but then again, children are easily amused by physical humor and other forms of "low" comedy. Don't get me wrong, I still find physical humor in cartoons to be entertaining, but there's something rather unsettling to me about excessive cartoon violence being carried out on live-action human beings. The smug, upper-crust parents in the movie also annoy the hell out of me.
In the same vein, I also enjoyed Dumb and Dumber when I was a preteen, but the movie has since lost its charm.
On the other hand, I'm almost afraid to go back and re-watch some of my favorite childhood movies. In particular, some of Don Bluth's pre-1990 films. And I'm wary because I've a little more emotionally vulnerable as I've become older. As a young kid, I could sit completely dry-eyed through a certain scene in the original Land Before Time, but now, some 20 years later, the same scene would cause a sob-fest. Some scenes in All Dogs Go To Heaven would probably become tearjerkers as well.

Writer's Block: Chitty Chitty Bang Bang

Do you give your vehicles names? If so, what are they?

I once had a bike I named Rocinante.
Regretably, I don't have a car of my own, but to my mind my father's Nissan Altima is "Katamari the wonder car."
When I was growing up, dad had an '87 Chevy Chevette. That thing had a lot of nicknames "POS" and "the shove-it" were just the tip of the iceberg.