Cooking & Eating

You Are What You Eat, and Other Reasons I’m Giving Up Deep Frying

Trash can nachos. Need I say more?

They say that if you learn to cook for yourself, you’ll eat better. I guess I see the logic there: fewer preservatives, fewer chemicals, fresher ingredients. For people whose version of not cooking for themselves involves a lot of drive thrus, absolutely. And most people, when they learn to cook, do not go in for anything too fancy. Grill a piece of chicken, boil some pasta, steam a vegetable. Healthier than a Big Mac, a Hot Pocket, even a Lean Cuisine.

Wouldn’t it be lovely if we all stopped there? If we only learned to grill our chicken and not make a cream sauce for the top? If the pasta weren’t served alfredo, the vegetables coated in cheese? At least if it’s real cheese it’s better than processed cheese food. But then, for some of us, this culinary acquisition keeps going. We learn to bake. We learn to make candy. We learn to deep fry. Continue reading “You Are What You Eat, and Other Reasons I’m Giving Up Deep Frying”

Inside & Out

I Apply My Personality in a Paste.


–I apply my personality in a paste.

–Oh, I doubt that very much.

–Well, you don’t know me. Do you.

(Clementine and Joel, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind)

If you know me personally, you might have noticed a pattern: when I’m in a low spot, I do something dramatic to my hair. Often, I chop it. Sometimes it’s dye. This time, with a baby biting my arm and a preschooler trying to run away from me in the store, I grabbed a box of blackish purple. None of the photos I’ve taken so far have really done it justice, but believe me, the purple comes through. Continue reading “I Apply My Personality in a Paste.”

Reading & Writing

People, Places, and Other Things That Ruin My Writing

I’m at Starbucks, where I go to escape my caterwauling children and get some time to write. Every Saturday, every Sunday, the same seat in the corner near the electrical outlet unless I’ve had too rough a night with the baby and end up running late. Three Word documents open: the current draft, the previous draft, and something titled “What Happens Next” to keep me on track with the plot. Triple venti mocha today, nonfat with whipped cream. I always splurge when I have a star reward.

There’s a man next to me, one small table between us, typing and typing like he does every Sunday, the clicks coming quickly considering he’s missing several fingers on his left hand. He reminds me of someone from college and I probably look at him more than I should when the work pauses. He wears a blue windbreaker. A stack of books on his table, from a glance: a day planner, a notebook, a Bible. Continue reading “People, Places, and Other Things That Ruin My Writing”