Back in about 2003/04, Andrea and I took a cooking course through the continuing education section of either the City of Ottawa or one of the school boards. It was a six-week course or so specializing in tastes of Asia, and each week was recipes from a different country.
Generally, as I recall (or as per Andrea and I talking about it tonight, while trying to explain to Jacob why I like the recipe), the class ran from 6:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.-ish. It was over at a high school on St. Laurent, and we would leave work and take a bus to get there just in time. For the first 45 minutes or so, the instructor would walk everyone through the recipes and demonstrate some of the techniques to try that night. Then, we would break into about 5 or 6 teams and we would all make 1-2 dishes each, with lots of repetition. » Read the rest
As part of my new “choices challenge”, today I chose to make bread with Jacob. Bread-making holds a special place in my heart for memories of my dad.
My great-grandfather was a baker and he taught my grandfather to bake too. I never met either one of them, both of them having died long before I was even a glimmer in my dad’s eye, but my father learned to bake from them.
All through his later adult years, my father was an early riser. Even though he started work at eight, he would be awake as early as 4:00 a.m. some days, and although some days he might have grabbed a cat nap before going off to work, on weekends he would suddenly decide to bake up a storm.
At the time, it seemed totally spontaneous to me. I’d wake up on a Saturday morning to the smell of fresh baking. » Read the rest
Maybe it’s the current pandemic climate, a strange combination of massive change overall against a backdrop of ongoing “no change” day-to-day. Maybe it’s the fact that it is 1:30 a.m. in the morning and I’m still awake, and I’m choosing to type instead of drifting off to sleep. Maybe it’s that I’m sitting in a basement full of boxes around my new office setup, and I haven’t quite organized everything yet. Or maybe it’s simply the fact that I just finished watching S2 of Jessica Jones where much of her backstory was about feeling untethered in her world.
But untethered seems like a great word to me tonight. It isn’t about being unconnected, although there is an element of that. It is about being adrift, untethered to a True North sense of direction.
There is a phrase from the US Declaration of Independence about holding certain truths to be self-evident. And in our current pandemic world, some of those truths are not quite as firm as they might have been. » Read the rest
I have been thinking about friends, death and goals this past week, albeit not necessarily in that order. Our friend Jeremy passed away two weeks ago, a sudden death. An aortic aneurysm. One of those potentially “here one minute, gone the next” type medical events that can occur with no warning whatsoever. Inexplicable. It happened during the night while he was asleep. And today, June 24th, would have been his 50th birthday. This is not a pseudo eulogy or tribute to Jeremy, his story is not my story to tell, nor even attempt. I can only ever tell my story, and here are some of my thoughts and experiences from the last two weeks.
I don’t feel like I knew Jeremy as well as I should have or would have liked. I have been close friends with his wife for over 20 years, we met through work, I took a course from her father. » Read the rest
I am an analytical introvert by nature, and over the last few years, I have let myself become somewhat socially isolated, partly by choice, partly by laziness, partly by circumstance. The pandemic, of course, exacerbates that condition. Even without it, though, I tend not to reach out to people to go out and do things. I do my own thing, often online, or with my family. It’s “easy” to do nothing to arrange social events when you’re an analytical introvert. It’s my default mode.
With the impact of Covid, I’ve been reading a few posts online about social connectivity, and how for many people, their network has changed over the years as they aged. At one point, it was likely their class list at school. Or a sports team they were on. Maybe later it was an address book, or perhaps an email list or contact list. But in the same vein that Mark Zuckerberg created Facebook and saw it expand, many people use their social media contacts as their “network” for friends. » Read the rest