Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Same as it Ever Was

I want to thank you for being so patient while I briefly ran away from home, blog-wise. Truly, I might have been on the metaphorical road with an allegorical handkerchief knotted to a symbolic stick, holding my figurative worldly goods against my nonliteral shoulder, but my gooey little brain was only on you. For example, just this morning, I was scowling into my closet and I thought about you.

It gets better. No, not better exactly, but less weird.

It's just that I live in Los Angeles where we have two seasons: Wet and The Other Fifty Weeks a Year. Sure, we also have Fire and The Academy Awards, but they're still waiting official season status. The point being that nearly every week of the year I can wear the same clothing. Week in, week out, I'm a paragon of constancy in either khaki pants or corduroy pants with a navy t-shirt on top. The shoes are either Converse or flip-flops. The underwear is my business. Because I wash clothing in cold water and air-dry, things tend to last. Because I am wildly cheap, I don't get rid of something until it wears out. Perhaps you can see where this is heading, which is to my closet this morning. The weather outside promised to be 72 degrees and inane. I turned on the closet light and said bleakly, "Oh. You again."

And this is where I am in so many aspects of my life. Nothing's wrong with my wardrobe; nearly everything I wear either flatters me or at least doesn't spit on me. But it's just so predictable, so...ruttish. I work out by walking, maybe the least imaginative workout ever. But I don't really want to do something cute or clever. Yoga makes me sleepy, Spinning makes me bulky, Pilates makes me poor.

I'm a vegetarian with a distaste for many vegetables. Nearly forty percent of my diet is rice, beans, or rice and beans if I'm feeling really hungry. I'm pretty certain fresh salsa is a food group. I tried eating something new and I was coughing up eraser-shavings for days, which made me cling more tightly still to my legumes.

In sum, there are shut-ins and Buddhist monks experiencing more of the rich panoply of life than I am, but I'm not sure if I should do something about it or, if so, what. Which is where you come in, Gentle Reader. Keeping in mind that I'm not a risk-taker, I genuinely like the father of my child and have no interest in meeting a special new friend on Craig's List and shellfish makes me vomit, can you think of an adventure for me to have?


Blogger Robin said...

Hurray. So glad to see a blog entry.

Have you ever been to Real Food Daily? There's one in West Hollywood and one in Santa Monica. Their vegetarian food is so creative and fun. Love the vegetarian meatballs (okay, not a creative dish, but yum...). Not exactly an adventure to most unless you love food as much as I do...


I'd suggest road trip, but you did that this summer with the book tour. :)

You know, a friend treated me to Glen Ivy Hot springs spa once. (glenivy.com). It's just outside of LA (well, like an hour...) It's sort of a health spa that you enjoy yourself. There's just all these springs and you just do your own thing. When on a weekday, it's pretty private. :) That's as wild as I get, guess I'm not much of an adventurer.

I'll bet your more creative readers will have better ideas. :)

10:27 PM  
Blogger Rebecca said...

Quinn, you have to trust me.

I didn't eat a salad until I had to lose weight, for the first time in my life, after the birth of my first child. I was 25. I didn't eat spinach until last year and squash - except for fried zucchini - until the year before that. AND I'M 56 YEARS OLD!

I lived on cereal until high school. And I think Carl's Jr. has fried zucchini, it's not too bad.

Please try this dish, it's really good. You can make just a little bit to try it, but please give it a chance.

Chop up 6 tomatoes, 4 zucchini and 2 yellow squash. Throw them in a pot, add salt and pepper to taste and THEN a huge splash of Sesame Oil. You don't have enough Sesame Oil if you can't smell it while the stuff is cooking on the stove.

It looks so pretty and it smells so good. Everything has so much water in it that it all cooks down to about half its size. And leftovers - if there are any - taste even better the next day after it's all been sitting in its own juices overnight. In fact, I make sure to make enough so that there are leftovers.

Cook it all on medium heat until it's soft enough to absorb the flavor but not mushy. If you cook it covered, it will get softer faster.

Sometimes, I get impatient and raise the heat to medium high after it's formed enough juice so it won't burn. I have a tough time waiting for it to cool off enough to eat. This is a seriously tasty dish.

Just be sure to add enough Sesame Oil!

Also, Ken's Steakhouse Light Northern Italian dressing over baby spinach, tomatoes, cucumbers and FETA CHEESE is very good. If I could duplicate it, Applebees has a fabulous shrimp and spinach salad. I even eat the frozen spinach cooked with melted mozzarella cheese on top.

And what about ziti with meatless sauce? All that yummy mozzarella and ricotta cheesy goodness. I make it with canned spaghetti sauce and it's so easy and delicious. On that dish, the key is using two cans of sauce and remembering to add enough salt and pepper. And lots of cheese. Maybe not soooo nutritious, but very tasty.

Good luck!

11:54 PM  
Blogger bethany actually said...

Are there any local touristy things you've always meant to do but have not got around to doing? Just today a friend and I took our daughters to Sunny Jim's cae in La Jolla, something I've meant to do for years, and it was not spectacular but it was fun! And I definitely don't climb down 145 steps through a rock tunnel into a cave on the ocean every day.

p.s. My verification word is fruck, which I find rather amusing.

12:18 AM  
Anonymous Liz said...

Tie-dying is frequently quite an adventure. It can be messy, but the end result is fun, especially if you tie-dye things like socks and underwear - its your little secret you are wearing such a riot of color!
Works best with a margarita by the way.
I'll keep thinking of more...

5:35 AM  
Anonymous Jan Ross said...

Yoga makes you sleepy? Wow, I just started taking serious Yoga classes and just makes me sore! But I do get a little sleepy at the end when we are lying there, just meditating. But that's the best part!

I'm pretty boring too but I do love to travel and that's what jazzes up my life. Have you ever been on a cruise? You could get a great deal on a cruise leaving right from LA either to Mexico or Alaska. We enjoyed both but Alaska is really an incredible, gorgeous place. Your family would love it!

5:44 AM  
Blogger Char said...

i say get a great book, go to a nearby restful place, put your feet up and read. maybe as you're reading, you can sip on something nice - like a good lemonade. then, as you're returning home pick up some salted, steamed edaname. (is that how it should be spelled?) sometimes the adventure is just taking time for yourself.

7:19 AM  
Anonymous Karen said...

Well...you could come to my house in Ohio for a few days. I still have harvest canning going on, we are renovating the kitchen so there is painting & stuff to do and there are three dogs to tend, which includes the always fun 'poop walk' of the backyard.

No? C'mon, how bored can you be if you won't partake in those exciting activites.

You're in the Peggy Lee zone, Quinn. "Is that all there is?". I'm typically perfectly content with my little life, but I do wonder if there shouldn't be the occasional dose of pizazz that does not include a car accident, a broken water pipe or a new menu item that must be followed by Immodium.

Maybe it's time you fostered a litter of puppies, that'll shake things up for all of us!

BTW my comment auth word is MESSE, which may be a less offensive spelling of messy, which is how my house looks, which is why you need to come for a few days. See the symmetry in that?

7:59 AM  
Anonymous Selah said...

Hike the Grand Canyon. How cool would that be? Or try fried pickles. They will alter your universe. Fried green tomatoes (proper green tomatoes, mind you) are equally universe-altering.

8:09 AM  
Blogger njanehair said...

Take a sailplane (glider plane) ride. Flight without an engine. Great adventure!

8:35 AM  
Blogger Sara J. Henry said...

Brace yourself, as I know this will shake your staid sensibilities.

Houseswap. For a month. In a completely different climate and different area of the country.

Now that you have picked yourself up off the floor, think about it. It's perfect. It's cheap - you only need pay transportation costs to wherever you swap. Daughter is home schooled; Consort can work anywhere with high-speed and proximity to airport, yes? You can swap vehicles and even pets, and experience an entirely different culture and lifestyle.

You could go somewhere cold, so you might have to buy boots, but could borrow many things: cold-weather households have endless supplies of hats, gloves, scarves, and parkas. You could go snowshoeing. You could learn to cross-country ski. You could go sledding. Daughter can build many many snowpeople. You could visit local general stores or antique stores or whatever the locals do.

And, of course, you could write.

I did this for five weeks (in Sydney, Australia) and it was probably the best thing I have ever done for myself. (Yes, I too wear the same clothes and eat the same things and lead a completely mundane and uneventful day-to-day life.)

8:40 AM  
Anonymous Carrie @ Who Knew? said...

Darn! I was totally gonna suggest you have a torrid love affair. But since that's out, you could try excitations.com. They have cool adventury type stuff. Or a vacation, maybe.

8:47 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You could do an Eggman thing with your wardrobe. Get out of the khaki/cord comfort zone. Go to a thrift store(since you said you are cheap) and buy something you would never ever wear and wear it all day while wandering around LA. Pick a day when you have a bunch of errands to do. I am a new reader so maybe you have done this but if not I would love to read about it.

9:25 AM  
Blogger Maya said...

Find something you're afraid of and do it. It doesn't have to involve affairs or shellfish, but truly the only cure for boredom is to take risks and try new things. Sounds like you kinda already know it, but are hoping for a different answer...

9:44 AM  
Anonymous Jean S said...

venice beach, baby. there's enough there for a few blog entries...

I was going to suggest whale-watching trips, but it's a little early for that, plus it's so dang wholesome. You need a dose of &%@??!, and venice will supply...

12:26 PM  
Blogger Quirky said...

Do you have indoor skydiving there? I just tried it last week and it was AWESOME! All the fun of skydiving without the actual jumping out of a plane part. You're really just floating on top of a giant fan. It takes about an hour after the training video, so if fits nicely into your afternoon. Then you can casually drop it into conversations like, "My day? Oh, just fine. I did some laundry, wrote a blog, went SKYDIVING..."

1:27 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

little change: t-shirts in colors other than navy.

big change: new hair color

depends on how much change you're actually looking for. i've been in both places and my personal vote is for the shirts. much easier to fix when you decide you've officially lost your mind.

4:47 PM  
Anonymous spleeness said...

Visit DC for a booksigning?? I'm just sayin'. :)

BTW the recipe Rebecca left sounds amazing. I am totally trying this at home.

4:49 PM  
Anonymous Paula said...

Learn blacksmithing. It's a dying art, something that appeals to introverted people, gets you really fit but produces something useful for the effort.

6:04 PM  
Blogger Rebecca said...

Spleeness, if you aren't a vegetarian, try adding chicken to the recipe. I use boneless skinless thighs, but it's been made with breasts as well.

Oh, and the recipe is also good - with or without chicken - served over rice OR noodles, for a more filling main dish.

6:23 PM  
Blogger Judy said...

"The Pirates Who Don't Do Anything" called me and asked if I would join them, so I don't think I can offer you any help.

BUT, I have become rather fond of steel-cut oats cooked overnight in my crockpot. Everything gets added at night, and after 7-8 hours it is done and it is great!

Well. I think so anyway.

7:47 PM  
Anonymous Ckoei said...

Hop out of exercising rut on pogo stick.

Munch through a bag of seasonal vegetable crisps, blindfolded (the beets are best: so sweetly submissive.)

Wardrobe-wise, I sing along with Anonymous: visit a thrift shop (fronted by 2 yellow birds tweeting "Cheep Cheep", and buy a delightful_slithery, planet&sun_bespattered, blue_nylon shirt. Even if you don't wear it, you can pet it.)

1:27 AM  
Anonymous Judy S said...

Join me and my friend in January for indoor skydives followed by tandem jumps! C'mon...the I.E. isn't that far away :-)

More realistically, spice up your wardrobe with some red!

If that's still too risky, what about treating yourself to a most awesome pair of jammies from Kohls that will soon become your lounging garb of choice?


5:15 AM  
Blogger Unknown said...

There's big adventure in stepping outside of yourself and your world by finding the right fit in a volunteer capacity. Not only do you end up really appreciating your life, but you may get that buzz from enriching another's. See for example. http://www.volunteermatch.org/results/org_detail.jsp?orgid=64849

7:32 AM  
Anonymous josita said...

Do a crazy messy art project. If that's too scary, change "crazy messy" to "cheap, utilitarian."

For instance, pick up a chair from the thrift store or the curb and paint it.

Get some terra cotta flower pots and paint or mosaic them.

Make recycled paper. You need a bit more prep for this--a blender, a screen, a dishtub--but everything you make is beautiful, guaranteed. Seriously. I've done this with kindergartners, sixth-graders and middle-aged women, and every single person loved the results. You could even make CHEAP holiday cards.

There are papermaking instructions all over the Internet; here's one that looks pretty good. http://www.thedailygreen.com/environmental-news/latest/how-to-make-paper-47102101

8:02 AM  
Blogger terri said...

Bowling. You should take up bowling. Trust me on this. It's an adventure. Especially if you join a league and the women on your team consistently tell stories of embarrassment related to, for example, their habit of not wearing underwear.

Oh, and the actual bowling part is kind of fun too.

11:38 AM  
Anonymous Erin Seabolt Bond said...

I think Judy's suggestion of new pajamas is quite brilliant. If you end up going off the deep end with your selection, who's going to care?

I was going to suggest a pair of animal-print heels. Which I am still trying to find a way to justify for myself. Will keep working on it...

12:46 PM  
Anonymous MidLifeMama said...

So as I read the other comments, a thread seemed to develop: people keep inviting you to visit them. It would be great blog/book fodder to be sure, to visit some of your fellow bloggers, across the country, reporting back on life out there in those other lands where it rains, and snows, and you might have to wear a coat. And boots. They would have to vetted of course, to weed out the crazies, or the ones who will try to make you eat tripe or watch all of their home movies. But it could be vastly entertaining. But then that is a lot of effort what with all the taking planes and finding your way to unknown lands, like Terre Haute. You could Skype with your fellow bloggers. There. That way no travel is involved. I volunteer to go first even though that stupid camera makes me look more like a garden gnome than I already do.

1:24 PM  
Blogger Jeff said...

Randomness gets me everytime. How about search out a sewing machine but it must be from a yard sale, limit $20, make your own t-shirt from remnant fabric from a fabric store be ok at failure or even boredom and be surprised by success as well. After that make your own spinach pasta with a pasta machine from Goodwill, if it fails throw it away. Go to the Zoo alone and watch the monkeys do their "thang" or ponder the tigers. I did that once and a tiger came directly up to the glass turned around and sprayed just a glass length away from me, I laughed for days.
Buy a "Learn Arabic" course on ebay. Prank call Holland.

8:30 PM  
Anonymous Monica said...

Uh oh, the last time you felt this way didn't you wind up eating a jar-egg?
My suggestion would be to sign up to audit a course (preferably graduate level) at a college nearby, on a topic you find fascinating. I think this would lead you to new journeys.

9:39 AM  
Blogger Meghann P. said...

Hi Quinn!

Check out this cookbook from Glen Ivy's own Executive Chef, Bill Wavrin. "The Rancho La Puerta Cookbook : 175 Bold Vegetarian Recipes from America's Premier Fitness Spa" should be in every vegetarian's home! Chef Bill is widely known throughout the spa industry for his amazing and delicious dishes. Here is a link for more information:


11:48 AM  
Blogger TheHappyHomemaker said...

You have some creative readers! It sounds to me like you should spend a day with Jeff.

If he is not available, take some kind of class like stained glass or French conversation...or sailing. Or join a rowing team. Pretend like you're a tourist in your own county for a week. Bejewel your jeans. Start growing radishes. Make a plan to enter them in the county fair.

And visit Oklahoma.

10:57 PM  
Blogger Rebecca said...

If you're going to travel, you should come to Vegas. It's close, such a short flight you don't even need to spend the night, but you should. You don't have to come visit me, and you could even bring the family. But Las Vegas must be the city most out of your comfort zone in this country.

I'm sure you could set up some book signings around town, too, so the trip could even be tax deductible. How 'bout that?

Think about it. Sin City. Better than a jar egg.

11:26 PM  
Blogger Elizabeth said...

Volunteer! One day, short term, long term. Do something outside your normal realm of experience. There's a huge list of opportunities during the holiday season at http://www.bigsunday.org ...or simply walk over to your neighborhood school and ask what you can do.

4:02 PM  
Blogger Cheryl, Judy and Jill said...

Get on a plane and go and visit Cheryl in Kansas City! She will cook you fabulous vegetarian meals! She will take you shopping and find you bargains that will make you weep with joy! If nothing else, you will be so happy to get back to LA you will wonder how you ever thought you were in a rut!
Love you, kiddo... hang in there. And take your vitamin D!!!

6:36 PM  
Blogger houseband00 said...

Get on a plane and go on a tropical holiday. =)

3:59 PM  
Anonymous Emily said...

Flying trapeeze lessons! All the rage here in DC.

4:15 PM  
Blogger www.robinraven.com said...

Wow, you have so many invites. I want to know whose you chose. :) Any of us? hehehe

Checked back in to see the suggestions and had to read all of them. A lot of interesting ideas. :)

I thought of another one: Motorcycle lessons. LA offers them! My friend and I always signed up, then chickened out. They even supply the bike! LOL!

Be glad your blog content isn't about debates on social networking sites. Was stupid enough to do it on Facebook and Twitter. It wasn't a good idea either time. haha :-) I recommend NOT doing that for the adventure.

One was with PETA! Must find better animal rights organizations that don't send chubby members away. LOL!

10:32 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

learn glass-blowing!! it is such an addictive hobby and has many great benefits.

1) it counts as exercise, since glass is heavy and the steel pipes aren't light either. also, the furnace is about 2000 degrees Celsius, so you'll work up a great sweat.

2) the class will be fun. i did it with a group of 10 students, 2 instructors, and it was a blast.

3) once you're able to do it on your own, you'll be creating things such as bowls and vases, but even after doing this for years the glass still dictates to me what it wants to do.

4) it's like a christmas present production line: bowls and vases for everyone ;)

8:22 AM  

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