No Processed Foods

After reading Pollan’s In Defense of Food, I have taken up just one of his edicts: eat only real food. I’m trying to do this in a way that doesn’t revolutionize my lifestyle so dramatically that I can’t maintain it. Rather, I’m starting slowly and then I’ll work up to the revolution.

Largely, I’m trying to cook more and I’m avoiding food with words I can’t pronounce or recognize. I’ve extended this a little further to say that I won’t eat foods that list ingredients that I can’t buy individually. For example, I have a weakness for chips and I don’t want to completely give that up (because then I’d break my rules and eat them). Instead, I’m not eating any creepy chips. As much as I love them Sour Cream and Cheddar Chips (ingredients: Potatoes, Corn and/or Cottonseed Oil, Salt, Whey Protein Concentrate, Whey, Cheddar Cheese (Cultured Milk, Salt, Enzymes), Maltodextrin, Partially Hydrogenated Soybean Oil, Monosodium Glutamate, Natural and Artifical Flavors, Onion Powder, Disodium Phosphate, Buttermilk Solids, Butter (Cream, Salt), Sour Cream (Cultured Cream, Nonfat Milk), Blue Cheese (Cultured Milk, Salt, Enzymes), Sodium Caseinate, Citric Acid, Garlic Powder, Lactic Acid, Artificial Colors (Including Yellow 6), Disodium Inosinate, and Disodium Guanylate) are out – instead I have some plain chips (incredients: potatoes, salt, sunflower oil).

I have a few things left in my kitchen cabinets and freezer that I will eat – including some chicken breasts (that technically don’t have any processing listed but I’m sure they’re full of hormones and other terrifying things considering that they’re individually packaged and pre-frozen). So far, however, I’ve been able to largely keep my promise to myself – because it’s not a diet – nor do I need to diet.

The only other thing that I have to do is eat more vegetables and plants (the less refining the better), which is something I like to do and I just need to be more conscious of. As I continue on my journey with this, I might try to replace more meat in my diet with vegetables and beans. I know that I overestimate how much meat I need.

Here’s to whole foods! And to wonderful risotto I made the other night!



“Feelin Good”

I was just thinking about these lyrics today (perhaps because I’m writing lyrics that are oh-so-difficult and complicated). The simplicity and metaphoric and literal clarity of this lyric makes me sigh with contented joy – as does Nina Simone’s brilliant arrangement and recording of it.

Birds flying high, you know how I feel.
Sun in the sky, you know how I feel.
Reeds driftin on by, you know how I feel.

It’s a new dawn. It’s a new day.
It’s a new life for me.
It’s a new dawn. It’s a new day.
Its a new life for me.
Ooh and I’m feeling good.

Fish in the sea, you know how I feel.
River running free, you know how I feel.
Blossom on the tree, you know how I feel.

It’s a new dawn. It’s a new day.
It’s a new life for me.
And I’m feeling good.

Dragonfly out in the sun, you know what I mean, don’t you know?
Butterflies all havin fun, you know what I mean.
Sleep in peace when day is done, that’s what I mean.
And this old world is a new world and a bold world for me.

Stars when you shine, you know how I feel.
Scent of the pine, you know how I feel.
Oh freedom is mine and I know how I feel.

It’s a new dawn. It’s a new day.
It’s a new life for me.
And I’m feeling good.

Now for the embarrassing part, this lyric was written at least in part by one of the lyricists I most often rib when I’m talking about bad lyrics. I didn’t know this until I looked up the information today. It seems that this lyric was originally from The Roar of the Greasepaint – the Smell of the Crowd and was written by Leslie Bricusse and Anthony Newley. Is’t possible that Leslie wrote this AS WELL AS “The world has lost its head / And every evil hour is filled with dread / I’m floating on a lake but upside down / And when I try to breathe, I start to drown”???

Say it ain’t so!

Bad Day Blues

It’s snowing outside just a little and I’ve been awake since 4, since he woke up, since our silent sadness shook his sleep one too many times and he shut the door, went into the next room, sat down at his computer. It’s horrible to be the cause of all this, horrible to not know if I’m right or wrong, horrible to have shattered what was to be another perfectly lovely evening of our perfectly lovely life together.

Because we do have a life together – whatever I may tell myself. This is my life and his together. And I’ve called it all into question and neither of us know where to turn. We both know that this is the simplest thing we’ve ever been a part of and that’s rare and good. But is it enough for me? Is that simplicity sustainable without a deeper current running underneath it? Or is that just it: that one needs something simple so that one can build upon it – a primer. I have all the metaphors in the world. All the shitty overused metaphors and even a few that my own. But none of the changes my indecision, my confusion, my lack of conviction. And it’s my mine to have. He told me his.

It’s 7:40 in the morning and I’ve already done a great deal of my work for the day. That is a good feeling. The rest of this day is grey and ulcerous and shriveled.

Drinks with A

I managed to keep our location to myself. Why I wanted to be at the bar where Sh had her birthday party maybe two years ago, maybe more, is beyond my current understanding. But I really wanted to be there and it felt right when we sat down, though I didn’t dare walk into the 2nd room, where she sat by the window and I talked to our poet friend who had just begun graduate school.

We ran into the man who’s djing A‘s wedding. We talked to him for a while and I asked him about music producing, which he also did. He explained to me why djs were purists – a logical reason: “You got a $10,000 sound system and a 10 cent mp3 is gonna sound like shit.” For once there was nothing but simple and platonic love between the A and me. He likes being engaged. He recommends it for stabilizing a relationship. Call me nutty for wanting the stability before the engagement.  Still, you’ve just said the word “forever” with a couple thousand dollars worth of jewelry, so I guess it’s oddly logical. The idea of platonic meaning post-sexual always seemed strange to me but it’s becoming such a truth in my life.

Sh made her presence known in strange ways. I found myself talking about things I still closely associate with her from djs to computer science to the chapel where her memorial service was held, where I sat among economics professors, Zoroastrians, and young women in dark summer dresses, tears of sweat and anguish seeping out our pores and eyes. I can’t believe that I’ll have to enter that building again under such opposing circumstances. This will be the second time in as many years that I’ll have to celebrate nuptials where I have mourned. Shouldn’t there be a rule against that? Sort of like no shitting where you eat?

Remember This

I’m working on a song and thinking about Sh. I haven’t thought about her in months. Her death was one of the reasons I stopped writing here. Everything felt so horrible and I had nothing to say. I don’t know what brought her into my mind this morning but now she’s everywhere. She’s inside the lyrics I’m writing. She’s shading the song and reminding me of the limited time I have to get it (and anything) done. She’s telling me which of the details matter, and which to let go. Her perfectly beautiful smile and impish humor are teasing me – daring me to write instead of tear up.

Did I have a dream about her last night that I can’t remember? Could it really be that I only tried to look up the bar where she had her birthday because it was in a central location? Did it have nothing to do with her the several times I walked by and thought about going in? Can it be that I can’t find that bar now despite knowing where it is on foot?

I made coffee to focus my brain and dry myself out.

cat stretching and begging by the closet

The above quote is from Dan Greenburg. I’m going to be honest and admit that I googled “cat quotes” to see what would happen. I didn’t know who Dan Greenburg was – turns out he’s responsible for, among other things, the “Zack Files.” He appears to be without a cat, if his adage is at all true because he’s rather prolific.

The reason I googled cat quotes is that I have two cats visiting my house today. They arrived last evening after our dinner with friends and they’re still decidedly uncomfortable. I like cats. But when I think of them, I do think of their disinterest in the people around them. Now I watch them in this new environment, looking so lost, trying so hard to get into our closets and hide from the world, and I realize that even if they were not so very attached to the people in their environment, they were very attached to their environment. Here, despite all the oh-so-soft blankets on cushy chairs that have been proffered, they walk around looking confused, lying on the hard wood floor, looking disappointed in a supreme lack of carpeting.

They stay for a week. Hopefully, as the days pass, they will begin to look less mournful and confused, they will stop smelling my closed closet door (I really don’t believe in cats sleeping in my shoes), they will take to one of the chairs to such a degree that we can’t sit in it anymore because we’d be covered in fur. I do feel the lack of rugs here suddenly and I wonder how homey my home can really be without these little feet pattering around.

mobile writing

Maybe i’m capable of writing a micro-novel after all. I just wish that there was an application for wordpress for my bberry. Oh WordPress, don’t give me another reason to be jealous of the iphone!

Any proud bberry users with a secret??