Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Good, Bad, Happy, Sad

Aside from my recent book review, I think it's been a while since I posted.  It's definitely been a while since I posted about life in general.  See, I started this blog at the beginning of law school.  It's supposed to be about me, sure, but really it's supposed to be about me and my interaction with the legal profession, and ever since the bar exam ended, my life has been decidedly non-legal.  So I would come by to the blog to post some kind of update, recall the essential theme of the blog, and feel sad because I'm still not working as a lawyer.  I'm not even a paralegal or a law clerk or something.  I'm working in retail.  Victoria's Secret, to be exact.  As retail goes, it's really not bad, and I'm actually thinking about keeping it as a very, very part-time job even when I find my legal job, but that's not the point.  The point is that I'm not doing ANY legal work.

But, I'm hoping that will change very, very soon.  I'm pretty sure all of you readers know that I passed the bar exam (!!!) so at least now when I apply for jobs, I can assure them that they won't be taking a gamble when they hire me.  It was different before I got the bar exam results, everyone I talked to said it was a "dead zone" for most people because, especially in this economy, employers don't want too many unknowns.  And not knowing if this person you're about to hire will even be able to practice law is a HUGE unknown.  But, there are still very few job postings out there to apply to, so it's still going to be tough.  But I keep saying, all I need is to attract the attention of just ONE employer.  I'm pretty good in interviews, so I think the job will come.

Meanwhile, this lack of a legal job is really taking a toll on my finances.  So, Marcelo and I are moving.  With my little minimum wage job, I can't even come close to my half of the expenses, and he can't cover it anymore.  It makes me sad; I've lived here for two years and have really settled in and fallen in love with this wonderful apartment, but today we found another nice place and it's in our budget.  It's smaller and it's only one bedroom, but all the stuff we care about having should fit and it's still a nice place.  And there's a fitness center at that complex, which should be pretty cool.  There's still a pool, and we'd still have a balcony too.  And a little gas fireplace -- actually, gas heat and stove too.  I'm excited about the gas stove.  As for our intent to maintain our separate bedrooms until we were "ready" to combine, well...I guess that's now.  The idea of going down to a one bedroom doesn't scare me, and I was the one who was the most concerned about it, so I guess we're as ready as we'll ever be.  Besides, even though we're only at the three-month mark in our relationship, we were roommates for six months before that.  So we know each other (and our living habits in terms of cleanliness and such) pretty well.  And he knows when to leave me alone because I'm busy or feeling quiet or irritable or whatever, he's not going to forget how to do that just because we're in a smaller space.  So, it will all be fine.  Besides, the move FEELS right, and you all know how much stock I put into what feels right and what feels wrong.

Well, I guess that's all my good/bad/happy/sad stuff lately.  I will say, it's a real testament to my eternal optimism that I've been going through all this and I'm still positive about the future.  And I'm not utterly depressed about the current state of my life, I'm just accepting it as a rough patch.  We all have to deal with those.

Monday, November 1, 2010

The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake

For Ginger's Book Club for September/October, we read The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake by Aimee Bender.  I actually finished it a while ago but I couldn't figure out what I wanted to say in my review.  I agree with others who said that the lack of quotation marks drove me crazy, but that's not a review of a book.

I think this review is hard for me to write because on the one hand, the story kept me reading, but on the other hand, the book left me feeling about as empty as Rose's mother's cooking.  I think that I, like Jenn, wasn't connecting with the characters.  What I think kept me reading was the fact that I wanted, so badly, to connect with this family and so I kept going to see if that connection would happen.  But it just didn't.

I also really wanted to connect with the book because I thought I was going to be able to connect with Rose and what she "tastes" in her food.  My favorite sense, by far, is taste.  I have very discerning taste buds, so if I say food is good, it really is GOOD.  I can tell when the measurements were a little off or that milk was almost too old or that substitution you thought would work just didn't quite cut it.  This often makes it difficult to eat food made by others, and it also makes it difficult to prepare food for myself.  When cooking for myself, I get so wrapped up in trying to make sure the flavors are balanced so that I'll enjoy it when it's done that I can't enjoy the process.  I'm stressed and flustered and trying to make sure the onions don't burn while I'm pouring the spices into the measuring spoon because I bought this stupid container without a removable lid so I can't just SCOOP them...and I think, while it's not quite like the way Rose tasted people's feelings, I can taste that frustration in the food when I'm done.  The only food I cook that I truly enjoy is the stuff that I can cook from memory and without measurements.  Then I am enjoying the process, probably singing and dancing in the kitchen, and I can taste that enjoyment when I'm done too.

As for others' food, I think I've been spoiled by people who can try a recipe once or twice and then do it from memory, because I can tell when someone has tried to do that but they just don't know what they're doing.  I've also been spoiled by people who know how a recipe is supposed to look and taste and know what adjustments to make when it's not.  So then when I get food from someone who just threw stuff in willy-nilly and now the alfredo sauce is a little more like warmed up cream with some's just disappointing.  All of you reading this who have cooked for me -- don't worry, this is not my way of saying your food lets me down.  Your food is what has spoiled me so that NOW I feel let down by other food.  And this other food is not BAD by any means, it's just more like eating to survive, not eating to enjoy.

My point with all this discussion on food is that my discerning taste buds and my attachment to the enjoyment of food really made me want to connect with Rose in the book.  I really wanted her to learn something about food because of her special talent, but instead she just ate factory food since it wouldn't taste like feelings.  Only at the end did I start connecting with her, when she finally decided to start visiting restaurants and trying to enjoy food and allowing the feelings to be part of the flavor.  And then the book was over and I was left hungry for something more.