Misanthropic Meanderings

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Location: California, United States

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Monday, May 31, 2010

Breakfast, again

One of the biggest things you can do to be green, and the most cost effective, is to eat vegetarian. This doesn't mean salads every meal or tofu for everyone. In fact, you don't have to give up meat entirely to be green. Try this pretty simple meal for breakfast or even dinner.

Pair of Potatoes Hash Browns
1/2 chopped onion
1 red bell pepper, chopped
1 tspn minced garlic
1 tspn oil (coconut or olive is my preference)
1 small sweet potato-grated
1 small russet potato-grated
1/2 cup of chopped mushrooms
3 leaves of fresh sage, shredded
ground pepper-freshly ground, I hope
1/2 cup of cheddar cheese
1 tspn of braggs amino acids or salt to taste

In a 12 in skillet, warm your oil and put in garlic, onions & peppers. Fry until onions are just translucent.
While that's happening, get your washed taters out and either grate them by hand for the best arm workout you can have on one side of your body, or use your handy dandy food processor to get your hash on. Put into your frying pan and brown for about 5 mins. Add mushrooms & cheese. Flip. Don't worry, it will break up. It's all good, this isn't a restaurant. Let that cook for another 5 mins. You want to just watch for scorching now as you let it cook for about another 8 mins.

Serves about 2 as a main with something on the side, like yogurt & granola bowls or 3 if you're serving scrambled eggs & fruit. To make more for a larger crowd, double the potatoes, mushrooms and onions, make the cheese about 3/4 cup and add another 2 leaves of sage. Enjoy.

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Wednesday, May 05, 2010

Failing, et al

When you're young, say, a child of 0-8, failing at something is the same as succeeding. You're learning, everything is still so new that just the act of trying is a great achievement. Success at it-well that just makes it a little bit better. The most important gauge of success or failure is your parent, usually mother. Each smile, each word of praise is a diamond while a harsh word can crush you for hours. As you age, say kidhood, around 9-13, you start to understand what it means to fail. The shocks of school life have taught you academic paranoias or in the rare event of a born genius, a strange mix of elation and shame as each deft success in mental acumen isolates you from your peers and maybe even your family. Your peer group has started to make it's opinions known, so failure in the social sphere is making an impact.

By the time you hit that marvelous stage, teenage, you're like a suit of iron that's been dipped into liquid freon. So hard, self contained. So brittle, because everything, especially the things you are witnessed failing at, can break you into a million pieces. We don't know if it's hormones, or this perilous period from 14 to 20, but it's all so damned important then. And how we want to succeed. We want to shine, we want to be seen and loved, beloved is important. But we don't want to stand out for being different. Not unless it's the right kind of different. That different, the type that sets your blood flowing under skin in crimson wave of shame, that makes your extremities swell to gigantic proportions while reducing your limbs to a spindly awkwardness that has never known a moment's grace in their lives, that is failing. As far as your parents are concerned, they were never young and "it isn't so bad" could never be anything less than mocking. Perhaps we should bow our heads for all parents of teenagers at this moment.

What can I say, it's almost a relief to in your 20's. You are free. Sure there are expectations: your parents, society, yaddayadda, blahblah. SO WHAT? WTF? You're 21 for christ's sakes. For the first time ever, the option to just walk away from what other people want from you is right there. Not only can you blow off classes, you can blow off mom's desire for you to be a lawyer and get that BA in experimental pottery. Were you a sober, serious church mouse? Well, hello booze, shrooms & SEX! You can redefine your life how you want and now, failure is what ever you allow it to be. It's up to you and you know what? If you screw up, royally, as long as no one is dead, pregnant or in jail, you're young. Starting over is not a setback. Hell, frankly, you're just starting out anyway.

30 is a bit different. It's about when you may not have everything set in stone, but you'd like to think you're getting the cement and blocks together. It's when life partners & babies & Ultimate Career Plans are being chosen, labored on. It seems like failure gets more personal now. Others could make you feel shamed, but now, when there's a misstep, it's completely, deeply something you're aware of as being your choices, your actions failing. When there's an "oops", if there's one, it's like your stomache goes hollow for days and you wonder "Do I still have enough time? To start over?"

Failing at 40. There's something. It deserves a bottle or 2 of liquor, preferably one that burns on the way down and for a few minutes after swallowing. Maybe it mixes well with the anger. After all, that anger is all you have now. It wraps itself around your bones, it's now infused with every cell, because, just because. What else is there to do? You've been at this life & adulthood for a while now. This life was all your idea. You had plans. Or didn't. You worked hard. Or not hard enough. You had talent. Or maybe not. You may have been deluded into thinking you were capable. Perhaps this has been a slow motion wreck, some kinda crazy personal earthquake that tore up the foundations of your life. The vibrations shake you off your feet, your fingers dig in against the inexorable slide, your nails fill up with dirt, cracking against your body weight. You dangle a bit, hoping you can just make it stop, just feel that there's a solid surface not too far away, a touch of hope that it'll turn around? No. Over you go and it's the long, dark drop. Where to now? What do I do?
WHY ARE ALL THOSE PEOPLE WHO ARE SUPPOSEDLY JUST LIKE ME NOT SUFFERING LIKE I AM? Why have they stopped looking me in the face? Do they pity me? Do I pity me? This is not what 40 should be like, is it? Who the hell starts over at that age? Remember the tv adults in the '50s? They never were "starting over" at 40. Career setbacks, relationship dissolutions. The most shocking thing was a drinking problem or a witchy wife, but certainly not failing. And now, facing the sunset at what's supposed to be your peak time in life, you now must consider where, how to regain ground before you head into a sad dotage at 50. We used to consider living past 35 to be old age. It was a rough world that took us then. Heart problems've become more prevalent at this age. Probably due to breakage.

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