Weirdly, I get anxious when I go a long time without posting here. I'm always carrying a couple of posts around in my head, trying out different phrases, wondering if this is too boring or that is too negative. The fact that nobody really gives a flip fails, somehow, to make it easier to sling posts. It doesn't help that earlier this year I came down with an acute case of uneasiness when it comes to disseminating other people's recipes without permission. Before I know it, I'm a month behind, I have 39 uninspired pictures of asparagus in my iPhoto, and getting something up begins to feel like a physical necessity. Usually I vibrate in that state for a bout a week before sitting down and typing. I wish I knew why.
I've always been a procrastinator. For a long time I practically cherished my vicious dawdling, as if it were a cute quirk along the lines of freckles or being quick to blush. These days, however, I am constantly renegotiating my relationship to NOW. I also try to be gentle with myself, but it's hard to strike the right balance.
Bee picks up words and phrases and tosses them right back out at us. Are you thinking what I'm thinking? This is a crazy system. Are you kidding me? Papa, is your dinner delicious? It's nothing to worry about. While I wash dishes she chats with Super Why, Santa, and sometimes even Zeus. A year ago she seldom put two words together; heck, she seldom put two syllables together, relying on shortcuts such as "oash" for "ocean." Now she comments, asks, and invents all day long.
Like a tape recorder or a parrot, she allows me to hear myself in new, seldom flattering ways. I now know that I must say "hey" far too often, because it is her favorite word. Hey, mama! Hey, mommy! Hey, Robin! HEEEEY!!! All that time spent pushing words around on the mental page has not, I fear, had any effect on the elegance of my speech.
I swear, while I was working on "WONDER," "BLT" just came together beneath it without my help. A sign, surely? Unfortunately, I am almost at the point where I need to start researching juice fasts or cabbage soup diets--or something. This month I have allowed myself to do a lot of craaaaaaazy eating. Box number 54 was taped up this morning, and I'm thinking that box number 55 might-should contain all my baking tins and the hand mixer. Not that baked goods have been my only problem--my last shreds of shame stand between you and a story about a pepperoni pizza delivered while I packed and caught up on Glee--but moderation is especially hard to maintain when confronted with Ad Hoc brownies, which I made for our last dinner-with-friends here (Zuni pasta with cauliflower and broccoli, salad, brownies, easy-peasy). Although the Bon Appétempt post that inspired me to make these mentioned their three sticks of butter, I was still rather amazed/appalled to see three. sticks. of. butter go into a little 9" square baking dish. The resulting brownies were called "superb" and also "the best brownies I have ever eaten," but let's face it, they are basically a kind of chocolate-butter emulsion. (If you make them, I recommend serving them with vanilla ice cream, whipped cream, or at the very least a glass of milk. You need something cool and barely sweet against that dark richness.)
On a not entirely unrelated note, I will take this opportunity to opine that it should be more normal for women to wear shorts for swimming. Although delicacy prevents me from listing all the reasons, these two should suffice: it's so comfortable, and unless you're Gisele, your modesty will not rob the world of any significant measure of joy. For more than a decade an ancient pair of Roxy boardshorts have been part of my bathing costume. This year I bought cheap Old Navy boardshorts before discovering an Athleta catalog offering a nicer array of swim shorts (and skirts!). A resource for modest mamas and other girls who cain't say no.