BY LAURA JANE & LIZ & JEN
Monday, May 12
LJ: I woke up at 8:30 in the morning. I drank a cup of black coffee and ate a banana while loading up the previous night’s episode of Mad Men. I picked out two daily Tarot cards for the next two days: Death and the Empress. It’s such a drag how often I draw Death.
An hour and a half later, my boyfriend and I took a cab to the Starbucks next to the Greyhound bus station. I had an iced Venti Americano and a peach & raspberry yogurt parfait. Every time I eat that parfait I am blown away by how weirdly good it is. My favorite part of eating yogurt parfaits is dumping the little plastic cup of granola bits into the yogurt. I remember when I was a kid and that yogurt-concept was first invented. It still feels like an extravagance.
We got on a bus to Barrie, which is an hour and a half north of Toronto, and watched Mad Men with an earphone-splitter. I’d bought a Green Machine juice at Starbucks and drank a little bit of it on the bus. It was lukewarm and the vegetable-y aftertaste was too pronounced. It tasted like the inside of your mouth having just woken up from a nap you took after recently eating onions. I drank the end of the juice while we waited for Mark’s parents to pick us up from the Barrie bus station out of desperation.
We got in Mark’s parents van. It was a three hour drive up to Owen Sound, where they live. It is very far North and very rural, I think by Georgian Bay. That night Mark’s mom asked me if I’d ever been to this part of Ontario before and I had to say, “I honestly don’t know where I am right now.” In the car I ate a cucumber sandwich that Mark’s mom made. She cut the skin off the cucumber, we just had that with mayonnaise on white bread. Very chill sandwich. I had another banana, even though I didn’t really want a banana, so as not to be rude. “Eating so as not to be rude” was an overarching theme of my day.
It was a gloomy grey day out and Mark and I each had a cup of Typhoo in the backyard. His Mom said we made it too strong, like mud, but I liked it.
For dinner we had roast chicken, mashed potatoes with mushroom gravy, carrots, green beans, and a shredded beet salad with some feta cheese crumbled on top. I’d never eaten a meal like that in my life. When I was growing up, my parents barely cooked, and when they did it was usually their weird specialties: my Dad made good chili, and my Mom made crepes. Maybe I might have eaten similar meals at some of my friends’ houses, but I’ve since forgotten them. I drank two glasses of Chardonnay and had seconds (so as not to be rude). For dessert we had a Swiss roll made with lemon cream and blackcurrant jam. I also had two little crescent roll pastries, one with raspberry jam and one with apricot, and a coffee with some cream and sugar. I didn’t take any pictures of the food because I didn’t want to be rude. At the end of the meal I was the kind of full where you want to unbutton the top button of your pants.
Mark and I went for a walk after dinner but I was lethargic. We watched three episodes of a TV show called Coast, which is a geography show about all the different sections of the UK coast. One was about Wales, and then we watched a couple of Scotland ones. I ate two Triscuits with cheese so as not to be rude. It was maybe five or six hours past dinner, but I was still stuffed. Mark and his parents all drank Martinis, but I had another glass of wine instead.
LIZ: So I generally eat the same thing for breakfast every day. What I do is take two eggs and fry them up in my beloved cast iron skillet (somewhere between over-medium and over-hard), and in a separate pan I cook up some grains (oats, rye, barley, whatevs) so they get to a nice, chewy texture. Then I take a bowl and mash the eggs and grains up with a whole lot of Tapatio, plus sea salt. (I love salt - I have a "salt tooth," like Betty Draper's creepy dad who salts his chocolate ice cream.) My breakfast is not very attractive - it looks like something you'd call "mush," or maybe "gruel" - but I promise it's totally delicious.
So I eat that, and then I drink my tea: black tea (Zhena's Coconut Chai, or any kind of chai or earl grey) with original-flavor Soy Dream and brown sugar. I can't live without my tea.
It was mega-hot that Monday. I ate lots of green grapes while I was working, and then sometime in the late afternoon I went to go get a little snack at El Batey (which is closing soon, on the account of the fact that Echo Park is going to hell in a handbasket). I ended up getting a Cherry Coke Zero, which was an odd choice, and also a coconut popsicle. I was hoping for a rice pudding popsicle, like the one I'd eaten the week before, which had this fun warning on the back:
but the coconut popsicle was just fine. I ate it on the walk home. The world's very jacaranda-y right now and I like it.
At this point I'm going to complain about how I came home from my perfect time at the writers residency on Martha's Vineyard expecting to have lots and lots of checks waiting for me (I'm a freelancer, I live on checks that come in the mail) but instead there were no checks. NO CHECKS, GUYS, mostly due to people being incompetent jerks. Major drag. Also my work schedule's been completely bonkers since the second I came back from the island, which meant that by Monday I was in a state of constantly working but having zero dollars to show for it, which got to be a little demoralizing after a while. What I'm getting at is: I got home from El Batey and drank my weird soda, and took a few minutes before getting back to work to just sit there and feel burnt out and hot and exasperated by the incompetence of others. Halfway through my soda I put on "A Hard Day's Night" and looked at a picture of John Lennon in A Hard Day's Night and thought about how it had been a hard day's night. That was a good moment. It made me feel lighter and connected to the Beatles in a positive, innocent way.
Okay so then for dinner I had a big stir fry: brown rice, the "super-firm high-protein" tofu from Trader Joe's, broccoli, kale, mushrooms, red pepper, red onion, soy sauce, chili garlic sauce. This is my giant thing of chili garlic sauce btw:
I love it. It costs $14 and contains 771 servings.
Also a spoiler alert is that I'm going to eat big stir-fry for dinner every night till Thursday, which has to do with the whole everybody-in-the-world-forgot-to-pay-Barker-this-month thing. I ate like a goddamn prince on the Vineyard, so I'm basically cool with my food life being kind of blah at the moment. But a little while after dinner I watched the bang-bang episode of Louie and got so jealous about his Indian feast, I couldn't even deal. I was jonesing so hard for lamb korma, man. Lamb korma and naan, and just heaps upon heaps of beautiful basmati rice.
JEN: I went to start making my morning smoothie and realized Alan left the refrigerator slightly open overnight. Things seemed kind of fine, still cool, but when I poured out some almond milk it had those little flakes in it that means it went bad. I made a smoothie with a banana, frozen raspberries, frozen cherries, frozen blackberries, some goji berries, some chia seeds, peanut butter and some water. Not almond milk. It was fine.
On my way to work I got a small black coffee from Oren’s. I ate leftovers for lunch. I had made this garlicky tahini-y nutritional yeast-y kale the night before with some roasted chickpeas and brown rice. I added half of an avocado to it this time. After lunch I had some kukicha tea.
I ate a couple of handfuls of walnuts before meditating. Probably like 12 walnuts.
It was around 80 degrees today - this felt very hot, very summer-y. I hate the heat and felt like I was in hell, so it was a kind of psychotic move to broil some asparagus for dinner. I did that and made my 4th floor apartment which just soaks up heat even hotter. I ate the asparagus with quinoa & tempeh cooked with some garlic. I squeezed a lemon on top of it all. I love broiled asparagus. Asparagus is at the farmer’s market for such a short period of time in these parts it was maybe worth torturing myself to make it.