Posted on Thursday 18 October 2007

sense :: smell // cocoa butter

I miss listening to music at work. I’ve been without headphones for a while now because my boss and his boss said something about me wearing them all the time. I think what I really need is a pair of noise cancelling earbuds – those are a little less obtrusive and they’ll do the trick. Anyone have any suggestions?

So yesterday was my birthday! Happy birthday to me – although I suppose technically it’s still my birthday (I was born on the evening of the 17th, so technically it’s still my birth DAY), and I should make the obligatory introspective birthday post. The day was pretty uneventful in any large way, but as with most things in life, it’s the small things that really matter. Having a wednesday birthday means no wild evening partying or anything like that – I went to werk like I do every day, which I suppose is in and of itself a sign of the times and a sign of my age – back in college I probably would have just skipped my thursday and perhaps friday classes in order to relax and have a good time on the night of my birthday. Ah well. I suppose I’ll get around to celebrating with a few drinks and some relaxation over the weekend. Raevyn has already said that she’s holding onto my birthday gifts (most of them anyway) until the weekend, although she gave me an early gift last weekend in the form of the telescoping fork that Alton Brown is known to carry around with him, and yesterday in the form of the Steamboy Director’s Cut DVD!

My parents are coming to visit on Saturday, so we have some werk to do around the house ahead of that, but I didn’t want to stress over that last night. I werked like normal, didnt eat lunch like normal – but I did get to leave the office a little early. I came home, tidied up a bit while Raevyn picked up one last gift for me (the Steamboy DVD she gave me in the car last night) and started some rice, and I took a really big step for myself cooking-wise last night: I fried a catfish filet.

I’m serious – if you know me, that’s a big deal. I’ve had an all but religious aversion to fish that essentially weren’t tuna, salmon, or sushi since I was a kid. I think it came from the fact that my mother absolutely loves fish, and I don’t blame her one bit – every fish my mom ever cooked was delicious and tasty – but the one thing that’s always freaked me out about them were the bones. My mom was the type of cook who knows how to really cook, so she bought entire fish, not the filets that they sell in the stores. It wasn’t until I was older that my mom started buying the occassional pre-frozen or pre-cut fish filet, but by that time the damage was done – I was deathly afraid of fish bones. If I ate a piece of fish with a bone in it, I’d mildly freak and wind up not finishing the meal. I can count the number of times since I was a kid that I ate a whole fish or even a filet of fish that was served from a whole fish, as opposed to a pre-processed, absolutely-sure-there-are-no-bones filet of fish.

So last night I took two catfish filets that I picked up at the grocery store from the seafood section (they were mildly seasoned and looked attractive) and tossed them in a pan with some olive oil and Earth Balance. about four minutes on each side, and 8 minutes later wrangled them out of the pan (all of our frying pans are either cast iron or have porous bottoms – we need aluminum, smooth frying pans like whoa) and served them over rice. A dash of adobo and a touch of Old Bay (linked for folks not in the Chesepeake Bay region) and I had a delicious dinner, paired with a salad that my beloved made for us. It was a special dinner for a special night.

Aside from the food, we didn’t really do too much else. I was disappointed that a few of my friends that I had hoped were closer to me than they probably are had forgotten my birthday and didn’t seem to notice, and that depressed me a little, but I’m trying really hard not to care so much about that. After all, it is another day, and to be so concerned with other people’s expressions is to be attached to the attentions of others – and as addictive as that is, it’s not healthy.

So what about the past year? I can’t say I’m like Raevyn, who thought that the 27th year of life was a pivotal year – surely Kurt Cobain, Janis Joplin, even Jimi Hendrix all left us at 27; but I wasn’t particularly aware of that. I look back over things like my new year’s resolutions for 2007 and think to myself that I still have a ways to go – I haven’t built my MythTV box, although I kind of wrote that one off (I don’t think the circuitry in our house can take another full-time computer, much less our electric bill), and I think I’ve done well at producing more original content than absorbing other people’s material. The budget’s been done and we’re doing pretty well with our finances (although I’d love to take some time off one day to dedicate towards financial planning and not just management), and I still need to stop slacking and redesign Plastic Bohemia. Still, I think if there’s anything I’ve really learned this year is that it’s very dangerous to become attached to the routine, to surviving, to doing the same thing all of the time. It’s a mindkiller – it makes you complacent and leads you back into life’s waiting room, as Raevyn calls it, as opposed to living it.

There are other, more difficult lessons that I’m learning now – how not to be overly emotionally attached or invested in people and relationships that I probably shouldn’t be, and how to meter my own expectations of people in regards to those relationships. It’s something I’m learning from Raevyn, who unfortunately gets to see my interactions with people from the outside. But those things are ongoing. In the end, yesterday, like any other day, was another day, but hey, it was special to me.

3 Comments for 'revolutions'

    Raevyn (AKA The Girl)
    October 19, 2007 | 9:19 am

    I love you so much, Beloved! Happy Birthday! I’m so very glad that you’re here and I can celebrate this day/week with you.

    As for the fish, I am ever so glad that you’re starting to push past your fear of cooking and eating actual filets. That fish looked delicious and made the house smell GOOD.

    October 26, 2007 | 11:32 pm

    Do let us know how you like Steamboy . . . we’re planning on bringing that home for the holidays.

    fish bones: those childhood food traumas are so, so powerful. As silly as it sounds, I’ve know someone who was freaked out by a fresh tomato breaking apart in his mouth (with all the different textures) that in his 60’s, he cannot stand the sensation even now.

    birthdays: no rhyme nor reason to birthday recognition, is there? Weird forces at play . . .

    October 26, 2007 | 11:43 pm

    from kurii: he says to check out “exam saver” or “examEar” on eBay . . . hidden earphones designed to sit in your ear canal! (Oh, the wonders of a public high school education . . . you can’t beat it.)

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