On Cooking

Occasionally, I get a little depressed.

It’s raining SO MUCH right now it’s hard for me to NOT be depressed. However, cooking relaxes me. And not just cooking … cooking food for others.

I will rarely cook a meal for myself … I’m more likely to make a sandwich or reheat something. But if I’m feeding people, I will go all out. The second oil hits the pan and I start to sauté garlic and onion, stress leaves my body.

I won’t bother to post recipes … everything I do is fairly simple, and I’ve snagged recipes from some of the best. But if my son has a request – grilled chicken for his birthday, or steaks just because it’s Tuesday, or risotto because he wants to learn how to make it – I’ll grant it. I love to cook.

I will go days, sometimes weeks, when I don’t feel like making the effort. Some days it’s all I can do to drop Kory off at school, go to class, go to work, pick Kory up, do homework, and throw in a load of laundry. Those nights we order pizza, or I heat up frozen lasagna. I am not a chef.

However, I LOVE food shows such as Top Chef or No Reservations … I read books by Anthony Bourdain and worship Tom Colicchio. I know I am a true chef’s worst nightmare … I know just enough to be dangerous.

What I hope these professionals know is that they inspire the small-time cook. I hope they know that when women descend upon their local groceries en mass looking for pearl onions so they can make boeuf bourgignon “a la Julia Child,” they are paying homage to a great profession, and merely trying to imitate its results.

You know what they say about imitation, don’t you?

Kismet

Some of you may remember a dog I had a while back.  She was a solid white Great Dane named Ella, and she was the primary reason I became involved with Great Dane Rescue.  Ella’s time with me began when I worked at the Kentucky Humane Society and I came in very early one morning to do a TV spot.  I heard a horrific howl coming from one of the offices, so I opened the door to find a terrified 110 pound creature staring up at me.  From that moment on, Ella would not let me out of her sight.  I got in trouble for bringing her to meetings, taking her to television interviews, and keeping her next to my desk.  Ella was deaf and had been bred within an inch of her life, which had been spent in cages, for the most part.

Over the course of 7 months, I fattened her up to a semi-healthy weight for a dog of her breed and size – a whopping 160 pounds.  She still suffered from separation anxiety and hated to be away from me for any length of time.

I was renting a house at the time, and my landlord decided to check in at some point (to this day, I have no idea why he was trying to get in the house at all, but that’s creepy speculation best left alone).  He caught sight of Ella and was terrified, as she was a large and imposing animal.  He told me that if I didn’t get rid of her, I’d be evicted.  I’d mentioned to him when I moved in that I worked for the Humane Society and that I might foster animals from time to time, but he didn’t seem to remember that conversation.

Heartbroken, I took Ella back to KHS.  I sat outside crying for ages because I simply couldn’t imagine that she might bond with anyone the way she had with me, and I was worried about her health.

Three days later, I was at Cherokee Park with a friend.  I spied a couple who had a pair of Great Pyrenees with them, and I struck up a conversation while their dogs submitted to excessive petting.  As we were talking, the couple’s daughter came over and said something about “Ella.”  I asked if she was, by any chance, talking about a white, deaf Great Dane.  She was.  We talked, and she ended up adopting Ella.  She changed the dog’s name to Duchess (and really, what did the dog care – she was deaf anyway) and I helped her and her husband with the transition of taking this large, very dependent dog into their home.  I even got to visit every so often.  We lost touch after a while, but I knew that this incredible dog had found her way to a wonderful home.

When I was caring for Ella (Duchess), she was well into her fourth year.  Great Danes have a life expectancy of roughly 9-11 years, and that’s if they’re healthy.  I figured she passed away a couple of years ago – she wasn’t in good health at any point, really, and I figured she lived out the rest of her life happily.

Tonight, while walking down Bardstown Road, I spied a pair of Great Pyrenees.  They’re hard to miss.  I immediately recognized them as the same dogs I saw in the park so many years ago, and I asked their owners if they might, by chance, have a daughter who adopted a crazy, white, deaf Great Dane from the Humane Society.  It was the same couple, and they assured me that Duchess is still with us and doing extremely well.  She weighs about 180 pounds now, and while she has had numerous health problems, she is 11 years old – several years older than I ever expected her to be.  Her “mom” is still completely smitten with her, and she has, obviously, ended up precisely where she was meant to be.

I call that kismet.

S.O.S

Meet my group.

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Last year, I asked my Women’s Studies instructor if there was a group on campus for survivors of sexual and domestic violence. She said there was not, and she didn’t seem very happy about it. I told her I might be able to change that and, since then, I have. I started this group with her help, and it has been one of the most rewarding things I’ve ever done. The women I have met are amazing. They are strong, powerful, incredible forces of nature, the likes of which I have never seen.

I don’t ask people for much (I don’t think) but Sexual Assault Awareness Week is coming up, and I want to make my group’s voice heard. We have designed two t-shirts, one for men to wear and one for women. We have to raise the funds from private donors to make the shirts, because we choose to keep ourselves separate from the “university-approved” counselors. Therefore, I have set up a paypal account and I would truly appreciate your participation. Know that the funds you donate will go toward raising awareness of violence against women!

If you can help, in any way, please click below. If you can’t, just send us your kind thoughts as we endeavor to make the world a better place.





Surprise! I’m sharing.

I wasn’t going to post this, but I really want opinions on it.

Here’s the thing: this is my final project for my Women’s Studies class this quarter. The class is called “Mythmakers: Rewriting Violence Against Women.” The assignment was to “revise a work that is participating in the perpetuation of a damaging myth about violence against women.” I chose this work to revise, because I’ve become very interested in the idea that men who strangle or choke women are trying to not only cut off the voice of the victim, but the collective voice of women. So I repainted it, and this is what I came up with. What do you think?

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Sometimes I hate it, and other times I think that the use of color and the way the women’s “voices” propel the attacker back are really powerful. Other times I think it looks as though it was painted by a ten year old. Any way I look at it, though, it is a sure sign that this course was valuable for me. Otherwise, I wouldn’t care.

I haven’t gotten a grade back, but I think I’m ultimately happy with the painting.

Super Powers

Before I head to Louisville for a weekend of running around and trying to visit my neicii, I thought I’d let you all know that it has been discovered that Kory has super powers.  That’s right, my son can fly.  See?

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Or maybe he just got a trampoline.

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Turns out the only real super power he has is being cheesy.

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L’il goober.

It’s a small world, after all

Strange things happen to me all the time, but this one was pretty special.

My friend Jennifer (who is renting Chip’s house on Eastern Parkway) gave me some books to read while I am on break from school. Imagine my surprise when she handed me a slightly yellowed copy of the Grapes of Wrath that had the name “Chuck Lynch” neatly written on the inside cover! Since it came from a bookstore on Lyndon (She got it there
about 15 years ago) and I’m pretty sure I recognize the handwriting, I have no doubt that this book once belonged to Chip’s father! How cool is that?

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