Wednesday, March 09, 2005

Office Work & Poetry

Yesterday was full of what should have been mundane, but it all felt delicious. The reheated St. Lucia bun I had for breakfast felt delicious, especially the alchemy of swirling just the right proportion of powdered sugar with milk to create a drizzly glaze that reminded me of the King Cake I always make during Mardi Gras. Throwing on a ballcap from Munch's in St. Pete felt delicious, with its memories of trips to St. Pete past & anticipation of Florida later this month. Even working in the church office felt delicious, as though I am really doing something good to help...and am getting refreshment in return.

I always take my basket of recipes over when I go, something to keep my hands busy between phone calls & chats, often about food, with B. Yesterday, I had a fun assortment...things like chocolate wontons with ginger ice cream (and I was transported to that summer ice cream making class I took from Jeni...and reminded I need to interview her for the book), pear mimosas, foods that transport my imagination to a different kind of life, one of friends coming over for brunch, soigné dinner parties, an always-busy social life. Really, my social calendar is pretty full, with poetry readings, dinners out, game nights, book group. I just always think about entertaining in an entirely different way. Maybe someday I will give an elegant brunch for a few close friends.

I toyed with the idea of walking to L's to let her dog's only a mile and a half from here. But, the wind picked up & reminded me that walking in the cold wouldn't be at all pleasant. So, I drove over & let myself in. Salsa was happy to hear me & I let her out of her daytime space & into the wide world. She was all long legs & Lab enthusiasm, puppy-kissing me over & over as the cats watched, disgusted. While she did her thing, I hung out with the cats...stroking Sushi's soft black & white body, scritching Popcorn's gorgeously orange head. I love that L & B have named all their animals with food names.

I allowed myself some library time, even though I am currently immersed in a few books from my big stack...Adriana Trigiani, Julia Cameron, Rachel Ashwell. They didn't have "Pride & Prejudice" on cd...I need to brush up for book group, since we are reading a book based on it...but I did find a book on New Orleans, a book on Carnival, a book on Halloween. I ought to be reading Presbyterianism & theology, but that can wait for now. I mailed invites to book group, then headed home to play with more recipes. I went through the local Junior League cookbook, a nice mix of yummy recipes (BLT bites was one) & local history. I sometimes think about what it would be like to be a Junior Leaguer or a College Women's Club member. I remember going to G's luncheon at the Women's Club & thinking, "My god, this is just like something out of a book or movie". It was fascinating & I wanted to be part of it that day. Maybe a part of me still does. And maybe I should. But, with what time? I have to laugh at myself for being such a joiner.

I allowed myself the frivolity of working on my cookbook a little, too, before I got ready for the poetry reading. J came home, allowing me to go pick up the boys. I sat down a minute or two with their friends' mom, B, who is a book group member & someone I consider a friend. All the children came & hung out as we talked & I thought about what a nice clan she has. I am happy for my boys to be friends with hers. She is a good mom and also manages to remain very much herself. That is, she is MORE than just a good mom.

L had arrived when I got home, so we were soon off to the poetry reading. I had decided not to read. I am not really a poet & besides, I have been so often racked with coughing lately that I was afraid I would lose it on stage. But, I had a great time talking with a fella named John and one called Mose, about goings-on in our county, about "Nickel & Dimed", about Castro, about writing. I found it interesting to find that other writers just accept me as a writer. I so often feel like I am a sham because I don't have books published, don't slam, don't make my living at writing. But, I AM making money from my writing. And I WILL have a book published, if I just don't give up hope. It's funny to me that Maya Angelou said she feels like a fraud...was that the word she used?

The reading was a little disorganized, as the usual host was gone & the gal who was subbing was not real happy to be there & not real willing to be flexible. She was pretty uptight. She wanted to do everything by the book & if a certain number of poets didn't show up by a certain time, she was NOT going to hold the open mic. So, she held us up & held us up, looking at the time over & over on her cell phone & pacing, looking impatient & irritated. We audience members/poets chatted amiably with one another while we waited almost an hour for her to get things rolling. Finally, Mose got up & started playing notes on his big, gorgeous bass & John started a poetry riff. I think that about sent our sub host over the edge, but what a relief it was for someone to take action. The only negative, aside from the edginess vibrating from the host gal, was the cigarette smoke. I would be happy if the state banned smoking in public so I wouldn't have to go into coughing fits at gigs & readings. I love to hear J read...she is a great writer & her presentation is great, too.

I should get the Tom Jones-singing children fed & off to school...why do my kids love Tom Jones??? Do most 10 &12 year old boys go around singing "What's New, Pussycat?" at the top of their lungs before school? It's quite surreal. Better than Eminem, with his homophobia & misogyny, at least. Harmless, if odd.

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