blue jays are jerks so I thought what better bird to be holding a weapon of mass destruction ready to burn your house down!
Also I know it isn’t you but I tried and it sucked so I did a bluejay instead. Sorry OwO
As some of you may know, I visited GD’s Café Monsant on Jeju this week!
The weather wasn’t that great but it was still a nice trip. The first thing I have to say about this is - his café is an actual place where his instagram account became real lol. At the entrance there’s a huge pink neon sign with a cheesy quote, then there are different tables, chairs and also a sofa, some modern abstract art, a tiny flower garden in the middle of the café and some happy quotes on the windows. Also the music was just like the music files he’s always posting in the middle of the night. The employees were dressed in all-black hoodies, pants or skirts, caps and bomber jackets with the Monsant logo. The location of the café is amazing! It’s directly next to the beach with black rocks coming out of the crystal clear water. Sadly you can’t really see it on the pictures since it was pretty cloudy that day. On the last photo you can see the pizza and strawberry juice my friend @uncledaesungfish and me had. We ordered Today’s Pizza which was a pizza with chicken, cheese, rocket salad and sweet potato, which was quite extraordinary just like his entire café. If you ever have the chance to go there, I would definitely recommend it! :)
OPRAH! (Yes, again I mention this.) I have an essay in the September issue, which is also neat.
I was feeling kind of down about my recent cooking endeavors. The food was good but it was not memorable. I decided to make Smitten Kitchen’s penne with potatoes and rocket. First I had to Google, “What is rocket vegetable?” I learned it is arugula. Why not call it arugula?
Did you know fingerling potatoes literally look and feel like fingers? Cutting those up wasn’t… a thrill but today, my “knifework” was better. Then I tossed the potatoes with olive oil and salt and pepper.
I do want to be clear on something. I have been writing a lot about loneliness and want but I’m not someone who thinks, “With love, my life will be complete.” I’m not desperate. I date more than I might let on, mostly because I don’t really want to write about things that don’t matter and most of the men I date do not matter and to call the time we spend together dating would be, well, a stretch. I’m just bored with it all. I’m mostly bored with lowering my standards. I have explored that to its fullest. It’s time to move on. I want something more and, I guess I feel this need to talk about that in this space. I’m not sure why. I am not normally prone to this kind of disclosure.
The oven pre-heated to 400 degrees, I spread the fingerling potatoes on a baking sheet, and stuck them in the oven. The recipe called for fifteen minutes, but as we have discussed, my oven is a LIE OVEN. It took twenty-five minutes.
The thing is, loneliness is a matter of accretion. Nine years of living in very rural places, a lifetime of shyness and social ineptitude, these things make the loneliness build and build and it cloaks me, sometimes. For so long, I closed myself off from everything and everyone. Terrible things happened and I had to shut down to survive. I was cold, I’ve been told. You’ll notice how I often write stories about women who are perceived as cold and resent that.
I am not cold. I wasn’t ever cold. My warmth was hidden far away from anything that could bring hurt because I knew I didn’t have the inner scaffolding to endure any more hurt in those protected places.
I am thirty-nine. I am like, thirteen.
When the potatoes were ready, I sautéed an onion in olive oil. I used yellow onions because I cannot eat red onions. That is sad. I really love red onions.
I didn’t allow myself to feel anything, and now, slowly, I am beginning to feel everything and writing is the best way I can think of to handle so much fucking feeling.
A lot of what I’ve been talking about here isn’t merely about wanting a healthy, mutually satisfying longterm relationship as much as it is about needing more human connection of all kinds. I want more connection in my day to day life, in the places where I live and breathe.
I want those connections to matter.
When the onions were softened pleasantly, I added arugula and spinach as well as basil and a good quantity of garlic. The recipe did not call for spinach or basil but I improvised. It’s impossible to get arugula around here. The only thing the grocery store had was an arugula/spinach mix. The basil I thought would complement the spiciness of the arugula.
OMG. Did you see me speaking cooking right there???
Realness moment: I had a personal grooming incident today and that’s all I am going to say about that.
I was really in my groove as I cooked tonight. I took my time. As I moved from one step to another, I reminded myself that doing this matters. Feeding and taking care of myself matter. I am worth this small consideration.
This sounds kind of self-help-ish and hokey. I don’t mean it to. The problem with building walls is that eventually, you have to tear them down and bringing those walls down begins in the head and the heart, at least for me. I need to remind myself of these things every day so I don’t fall back into a dark place to which I have no desire to return. I need to remind myself of these things so I can take care of myself in this way and so I can go to the gym and hate every minute of it but know I am doing the right thing. I am doing this so I can feel more whole and alive someday.
When the spinach and arugula were lightly wilted, I added the potatoes to the mix. I was a bit skeptical because the dish seemed so carb-intensive. On the adjacent burner, I boiled salted water and cooked the pasta. I had a dilemma though. I forgot to get penne at the grocery store. What to do? I looked in my cabinet, and lo, there was some overpriced angel hair pasta in there. Pasta is pasta, okay. You can shape it however you want but it comes from the same place and comes out the same way.
I do have love in my life and it’s overwhelming and inescapable and complicated. It is what it is. That phrase can be trite but sometimes, it is also true.
I tossed the potato and vegetables, then added the pasta, and tossed all of that together. You should know that it is very difficult to “toss” angel hair but I persevered here as well. Once that was all nicely mixed, I drizzled the works with fresh lemon juice. I was nervous about this part but I was committed to following through on this recipe and follow through I did.
I have not historically been great at follow through. That is one of the things I need to work on most–seeing things to the end, being patient enough to see things to the end, trusting that certain moments in life will unfold as they should. The most human parts of me want it all! Right now! Exactly as I want and need! Reconciling the impossibility of such human want is also what I am doing when I write in this space.
I must tell you that this was by far the most delicious dish I have ever made. I don’t know why but every single component (hehehe cooking talk) worked and was well prepared, she says, boastfully but a bit bashfully. The flavor combinations were like awesome kung fu in my mouth. My taste buds were all kung fu fighting.
Part of what may have helped the cooking is that I pretended I was cooking for Oprah and my best friend and well, Gayle was invited too.
We all have our amusements.
I was talking with a dear friend today. She asked, “Does the person you love the most know all of your secrets?” I answered far more quickly that I could have predicted. I said, “Yes.”