1. I love Bon Appétit and the sassy, casual tone they use in their recipes. I tried this recipe for cuban-style chicken last night and it was SO DAMN GOOD. And easy. I had something similar to this at Guantanamera in New York City five or six years ago and I literally think about it on a weekly basis. Always wanted to try and replicate it. This came close.
2. When I quit drinking last summer it changed so many things about my life almost immediately. I felt physically stronger. I lost a few pounds. I had more money. I was less of an asshole. I figured that was it. Done. Onto the next thing. Not so fast. What I'm learning is that when you get control of or eliminate something that is bad for you and that pretty much has complete control your life - whether it's alcohol, cigarettes, a toxic relationship or friendship, a toxic relationship with food, gambling, whatever - there is a whole other phase after you "quit the thing" where you look at the aftermath and the space you've created by eliminating it and realize you get to decide what to do next. You get to decide what to do everyday. Forever. Oh boy. Didn't see this coming. My days and decisions are no longer shaped and driven by this terrible vice or person, they are shaped by me. This makes me feel like Little Orphan Annie when she first arrives at Oliver Warbucks' mansion. They ask her what she'd like to do next and her mind is sort of blown. I feel like this a lot lately. I'm figuring myself and my life out with a clarity I don't think I've ever had as an adult. It's cool. It's a lot. But it's cool. Am I a morning person? Am I a night owl? Do I actually like this person? Do I actually like this apartment? Why don't I know how to drive? Why can't I maintain a relationship with a dentist? Do I like tea? I hope I'm not a tea person. When you're driven by something that zaps your clarity and presence and removes you from reality for years and years and years, you kind of stumble through life. Sure, I'll wear that. Sure, this person is my friend. Yeah I'll live here, whatever. When you get to the other side of it, you realize you get to choose. I have a lot of decisions to make. I'm excited. I think I'm gonna like it here.
3. I mentioned this yesterday: Hunger by Roxane Gay. Have you read it? I'm always late to the party so most of you probably read it already. I'm about 20 pages from the end. This is a book like no other. I can't say "I love it!" It's just not that kind of book. I can say that it's incredibly powerful and in the week I've been reading it, it's shifted the way I look at other people and how I feel about some of the less-than-wonderful things I've gone through in my life. Roxane is a complete badass of a writer and a person. You should read her books and follow her on Twitter.
4. As part of my "I'm sober now, who the hell am I and what do I like" phase, I started to realize that I don't particularly love or need Internet access at home. I'm not home all that much. I teach four out of five weeknights and my weekends I'm usually with Prom Date doing something fun. I don't have a television. When my ex moved out several years ago he took the TV and I never replaced it and haven't missed it. I access television shows via the Internet. But I don't really have time for a Netflix binge and, I'm sorry, I haven't super loved anything I've watched lately. I didn't finish Stranger Things. Can we still be friends? I got bored. I'm sorry. I watched three minutes of Game of Thrones and knew it wasn't my jam. I watched one season of Grace & Frankie and that was enough. Meh. It's just not my scene. I decided I'd do a 30-day no Wifi at home experiment. I lasted 24 hours. The second a new Law & Order: SVU was available I threw in the towel. I cannot live without Olivia Benson and she is absolutely worth the $1K/year I pay to have Wifi at home. You guys should watch the latest episode. VERY good.
5. What are you doing this weekend? I am hoping to go see Chappaquiddick and going out for sushi at this glorious place with Prom Date's family and friends-who-are-like-family for his birthday which was last week. Happy Birthday, Prom Date. And Happy Friday, you guys.