every summer CSA season starts again and inevitably my mom has tons of vegetables that need to be cooked. this led to the creation of a dish, which is more like a blueprint, that has become a tradition in the huizenga family – it’s called beans ‘n ‘greens ‘n rice.

simply put, you cook a bunch of vegetables you have lying around starting with the hardest ones that take longest to cook, throw in some beans, wilt in some greens at the last minute and serve the whole delicious mess over rice of some kind.

i try to decide in advance, based on the selection of veg, what family of spices/flavors i’ll be using – mexican, indian, thai/asian, american chili-style, etc…

so a couple nights ago i made a delicious faux-indian curry and a cucumber salad

i just love the creative part of cooking, especially when the flavors really come together :)

gotta go, richie made me breakfast!

we have been fortunate enough to have richie’s awesome parents supply some beautiful living room furniture to complete the furnishing of richie’s house

also note the flowers richie got me for the fourth of july, just for fun

it’s so nice to have a boyfriend who brings home flowers just because he loves you, and not because he’s done something wrong…

So Work of Art is a new reality competition show on Bravo and I thought it would suck but I LOVE IT!

It allows me to float back into my brief time as an art student and reminisce – to see people conceiving and creating and then suffering through critiques and the bullshit that gets spouted on all sides…

recently the contestants were challenged to create book covers and one of the books was Frankenstein by Mary Shelley.

Miles is clearly the frontrunner, the darling of the judges, and yet i like him too, he seems fully legit and makes great stuff

And he reminds me of Hippie a little bit because he tends towards the ridiculous and yet it seems to always pay off.

Miles decided that he really had to read the book before he could make a cover, so he burrowed into his little workroom nest and did it. He read the whole book in about 4 hours.

That bit made me laugh out loud because I had read Frankenstein as a high school freshman and didn’t love it, but it offers a lot to analyze for novice literature students.
4 years later I was supposed to read Frankenstein again! During the summer before my first year of college (for the required freshmen humanities course). I was an arrogant teenager so I blew it off. But then we arrived on campus and there was a week of orientation before classes started and everyone around me was reading it and freaking out about getting it done in time, etc… So, just like Miles, I sat down and read the entire book in about 4 hours the night before class. And I was so glad I did!

So I’m listening to this book on CD in my car and i’ve had a couple thoughts.

1. She writes, “A bird never doubts his place at the center of the universe” – isn’t that just the perfect description? Maybe that’s what I’ve always loved about them, their complete lack of self-consciousness. Birds do exactly what they want to do all the time… except the little scientist voice in my head that sounds exactly like prof jim mountjoy says that birds don’t do whatever they “want” because they are controlled by instinct, so they are doing what they have to do, there is no real choice involved.

2. (possible spoiler?) Near the beginning of the book, a young man dies and she describes the way people had to wait in line for over an hour at the wake. It reminded me of Matt’s funeral which also involved waiting in a very long line, some for over an hour. And for the first time, I considered what that really meant – how many people must have attended to make a line that long. And then I thought about how people say things about wishing they could attend there own funeral, and the anxiety people express over how many people would care if they died… And I thought that Matt would have been satisfied with our final farewell to him.
I’m still processing Matt’s death and absence, but lately I’ve been able to think about it with more peace and acceptance – (translation: i don’t cry every single time i think of him).
I guess I have found some comfort in focusing on how awesome he was and how many people were lucky enough to know him … and how he will always be young in our memories. Matt is free from the pains of life, the pains of aging, the possibilities of disappointing himself and others. He can’t hurt anyone and no one can hurt him. I recognize that you can read that from two different perspectives – he is gone forever and that sucks OR his story is complete and he is free from fear, anxiety and pain. But really it’s both, all the time.
I have come to accept that Matt had an awesome life with a great family, friends and lots of crazy experiences and now it’s over – like every great book has to come to an end, even if it’s much shorter than you’d wish, and no matter how much more you want to hear about your favorite characters. The story is done and the author has died.
But of course, people are different than books – for one thing, you can’t reread people. I can’t go back in time to re-experience my time with Matt. And I could never love a book as much as I loved Matt. I would give anything to be able to talk to him again.

3. So maybe these two thoughts don’t seem to go together, I can see that.
Except that, like the birds, Matt never doubted that he was the center of the universe :)

pet count: 5 rats, 3 toads, 2 birds, 1 garter snake, 1 guinea pig, 1 desert lizard, 1 tough goldfish

job count: 0

made cookies yesterday, didn’t have an egg, messed with the recipe a lot, ended up with really really soft “tropical fruit oatmeal cookies”, we eat them for breakfast, richie likes them

just roasted a pork tenderloin marinated in a mixture of thai fish sauce, garlic stir-fry sauce, olive oil and paprika, it turned out delicious. paired it with couscous and sweet peas for lunches for the next few days.

our bathroom is so close to being done, just have to hang the door and window frames and put up curtain rods etc, its very exciting to be able to shower and bathe at home!!!

here are some pictures:

easter quiches

bunny cake for easter (its a family tradition, and btw i let piper decorate it)

a duck at lincoln park zoo

i’m subbing today at a typical chicago public high school. the kids have been pretty good, and just a little bad to see what i’ll do (as usual i try to react as a “teacher” should, but a lot of times i don’t even realize that i’m grinning right back at the troublemakers… the big secret is that the troublemakers are very likable and it’s hard for teachers to be strict with them)

i’ve been very apprehensive about subbing lately, but after i got here this morning all the anxiety vanished. i don’t know why, but i do tend to forget that i do know what i’m doing, that i can make students respect me as an authority figure, and that i really enjoy my days as a sub.

still waiting to hear about the other full-time job i really want at a certain chain of stores that sell used books… they just took possession of a new store in the south burbs and it would be so awesome to work there!!! plus it has benefits!

but i definitely shouldn’t forget that i really do like subbing (ok, i still don’t like having to go to bed early just in case you get called in and never knowing what days you’ll be working – but thats really not as bad as i make it seem in my head, its sort of an adrenalin rush actually!)

p.s. best names of the day: Mahogany, Ofelia, Twanica and Viridiana (i’m not mocking, i love the creativity)

ok long time no blog…

our bathroom is ALMOST done, apparently i’ll be showering here by sunday night (happy easter!)

then we just need to get the hardwood floors finished and get some real furniture and move in all of my stuff and the house will be done! i kind of can’t believe it and it makes me a little nervous to actually think about living in a real house

Richie has taken the small garden i imagined and turned it into a massive project – predictable but still, a little anxiety-inducing considering how much work big gardens can be…

i’ve been sick and having lots of allergy problems and its been a real drag, hopefully that will get better soon since the heat’s off and the windows are open etc… plus we’ll get the ducts cleaned after the house is done and that may help.

i’m waiting to hear about a job i really want and it has benefits so if i get it, a trip to the allergist will be priority 1 (followed by the dentist…)

yeah so basically i’m just waiting and waiting and waiting for all these things to happen… and that doesn’t make for good blog fodder, does it?

:)

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