Thursday, January 27, 2011

BabyRat No More

I decided on something a few weeks ago that I'm going to share with you now.

Since I started this blog almost five years ago I've referred to my oldest child as "BabyRat." When I dubbed her BabyRat it was a fitting title/Nom d' Blog, but she's almost six years old now and, while still given to frequent crying, is not a baby in any way, shape, or form. My daughter has blossomed into a kind, thoughtful, loving, beautiful, strong, tough, fearless, funny, adventurous, whip smart little kid.

She's such an amazing kid, watching her start to develop her own preferences and style is really fun to watch. Of course there's a massive element of self-congratulations in all of this because I'm the one who has her singing Cat Power and Lauryn Hill.

Anyway, she got a skateboard for Christmas this year and immediately asked me to take her to the Konkrete Jungle [Writer's Note: Totally got sidetracked updating shit in FourSquare instead of writing, now watch this crash & burn ending] when we got back from spending Christmas in Houston. Immediately it hit me that her new appallation should be SkateRat.

What could be more perfect to capture this kid's steez and fit in with the weird schtick I've come up with for myself in this blog?


Type your summary hereType rest of the post here


So Much Fail

Fuck, I'm not even coming close to posting once a week! It's just like school, I want to do it and do it well, but instead of just getting things done I procrastinate thinking to myself, "I still have time." The difference is that now instead of getting sidetracked by an opportunity to waste an afternoon/evening/night/semester bumping around maxin' & relaxin', smokin' & jokin', drinkin' & stinkin', my attempts to write are brought low by a whole different set of circumstances. Although these days I have quite a bit more to show for my missed deadlines than I did back then.

Rather than thinking I'm going to pop off with something epic, I'm just gonna put myself on the clock and force myself to write. One hour, one cup of coffee, one blog post.

I have to wonder if I just need the drama of a deadline to write because I did pretty good with my attempt to post everyday for a month. I guess it doesn't matter, I've identified another part of the problem (procrastination) and figured out a way to deal with it. So now what we're going to have here today is the contents of my mind late afternoon on a Thursday.


Friday, January 14, 2011

Why This Blog Sucks, Part 15

Dude, I suck so bad at blogging now! I mean, I already ID'd the problem six months ago but I've largely been unable and unwilling to do anything about it.

When I say "this blog sucks" it's not that I think that I suck or my writing sucks, in fact I'm pretty cocky about my ability to communicate in writing. But compare what you see here to the kind of portal to writing, research, thoughts, and opinions that a good blog should be like Ta-Nehisi Coates' spot at the Atlantic or something more gonzo and irreverent like Stinque and it's hard to conclude anything other this blog sucks. The blogosphere demands content and I have failed that challenge miserably over the last year and a half or so.

More soon . . .


Friday, January 07, 2011


I was going to make a bunch of resolutions this year. Start exercising in the morning again, cut down on the booze, deal with unpleasant situations in a mature & direct way, all the usual bullshit we say we're going to do. But the one promise to myself that I must keep is to start writing again. One blog post per week MINIMUM.

I'm not going to give myself a minimum number of words to write because I know that I can force myself to type until I've reached whatever arbitrary limit I set and I'll end up kind of just . . . trailing off instead of finishing my thoughts.

I already know that my "go to" topic for a quick post will be recipes and food. Food is the new hotness these days and I'm 'bout it, 'bout it too. Everyone's talking about food; Mrs. Obama is up on food's tip, food in the schools, DC Healthy Schools Act. Food, it's everywhere you want to be.

Since WifeRat and I got together nine years ago I've been cooking more and better food. And for the last 6-9 months I would say that I've really been "feeling my flavor." Everything I do in the kitchen is just a little bit sharper, a little bit better & tastier these days. When I dice an onion now, the pieces are uniform. My temperature on meat & fish is getting close to perfect. I seem to be able to avoid typical home cook kitchen disasters either through careful preparation or simply having the confidence to try something to save the dish.

It's a nice feeling, having command of your kitchen. The freedom to start branching out into making new recipes and new types of food is almost like being able to fly. We started eating a lot of Indian food over the last 12-18 months and now I've started making it at home. I make a pretty good potato & cauliflower curry, but the thing that real makes the crowd go wild is my palak paneer. My newest challenge is to stop paying $10 for paneer cheese and start making it myself.

Food occupies a central place in our household, we have a beautiful open kitchen that's the heart of our home. In consultation with the rest of the family, usually I'll plan a week's worth of meals and then take the kids with me to the grocery store to do the shopping. I'm happy to trade off whatever drama & stress (minimal IMHO) taking two kids to the grocery store entails to ensure that I always have food I want (in the quantities I require) to eat in the house.

Since I like to cook in a clean kitchen, I also serve as the de facto scullery maid in our home. I feel like Sisyphus with the constant loading and unloading of the dishwasher. Most days it's the first thing I do when I get up in the morning and the last thing I do before I go to bed at night.

I actually enjoy cleaning the kitchen, scrubbing the counters and stove after doing the dishes and then wiping them down is like a form of meditation for me. It's a way for me to show my family how much I love them each and every day and connects me to the lessons my parents and grandparents taught me about how to live.