We spent a wonderful weekend together, watching movies, talking about books, and enjoying each other's presence. I know that I wouldn't be who I am today without my parents, and I have my dad to thank for my mild to somewhat worrying obsession with film and literature. The true tribute of the weekend lay in the Saturday night viewing of my father's favorite film of last year, Cloud Atlas. I had never seen the movie, my father had never read the book which I loved. After ingesting it into the wee hours of the morning, and sprinkled with lively discussion throughout, I came to finally understand why my dad liked it so much. It has its faults (mainly in some of the rapid editing), but if it's a movie about the cycles of humanity, perhaps its faults can be viewed as meta and kind of endearing? In the glow of my dad's giant television, I indeed came to endear it. And there really are some spectacular visuals and great acting involved.
In the morning when my brother showed up and we were watching my dad open gifts, under the DVDs I gave him lay one final gift: Cloud Atlas by David Mitchell. As he was able to screen the movie for me, I hope he can delve into the book in the same way.
Later that day we were a state away in New Hampshire with my brother's fantastic fiance and her family, celebrating all the dads. It was a wonderful time cut too short again by my necessity to get home in time for work the next morning. My mom and dad speeded me down to Connecticut (two states away!) to my train, and it was sad to say bye to two of my favorite people.
I was still feeling a bit sick at the end of the weekend, but my mom also sparked something in me that has led me to deem this week a week of bettering myself. In the past this might have meant strenuous exercise, but as my mom and I were making a special recipe of brownies for my dad, I realized I did enjoy cooking and wanted to get more into it. The fact that I've said this several times in the past years (decade?) was just more reason for me to overcome my mild aversion to it.
The good thing was that I felt no qualms about staying indoors after work due to my being sick and so I could proceed with cooking. So for that past three nights I've made three different recipes! Yes, me. Unfortunately, I partake in them by myself and always wish Jesse was here, but he will be at some point. I've found that cooking and following a recipe after work in silence --I haven't even bothered to turn on the television or play music--has a somewhat meditative quality. I am able to zone my focus into the food and I'm enjoying it!
Last night in what I must say felt like a moment of true genius, a recipe called for a whole package of bacon to be fried halfway and then added to the dish in the oven. As I sat staring at the bacon fat left over in the pan, I realized I could just fry the brussel sprouts I had standing by in the bacon fat. And as I talked out loud to myself like I was Bridget Jones (yes, I understand that this is really only that level of genius), I fried the suckers and they were delectable.
Sidenote: must remember to buy an apron soon if this cooking thing keeps up.
My self-imposed week of betterness also involves no consumption of alcohol, upkeep around the apartment, laundry, and a return to my writing. Not just here, but my narrative writing. Last month while traveling I had a spark, a feeling, a wave of inspiration and it's all been formulating in my mind. I've finally started the task of molding it into something with actual words. We'll see where it leads me; I'm feeling positive.
I should also mention that part of the reason for this goal-oriented week is due to the fact that I have the impending and looming and exciting bachelorette for my best friend this weekend! In case it becomes debaucherous, I figured I should be fully recovered from my cold and harvest all the zen I could in the week leading up to it.
Until then, let's see if I can go five for five on days I'm cooking for myself this week!