The highlight of my week is the Wednesday Santa Monica Farmers’ Market. It’s really the only place my budget allows me to buy unabashedly; after all, I need to eat, right? Numerous vendors sell everything from chocolate mint to persimmons and to fresh-baked artisan breads, from all manner of cattle (beef, bison, pork) to the most colourful array of produce; my favourite is the green, yellow, red, purple and almost black heirloom tomatoes—oh, my Golly, they’re like candy!
I’ve taken to blending my breakfast. Mermaid, my housemate, has a Blendtec, which is a professional grade food pulverizer. Some argue that the Vitamix is the best. I’ve used both and prefer the former, though our friend, Tango (he dances), swears by “the new Vitamix. It’s very quiet and the canister now fits in the fridge.”
Either way, I put all the greens I need to stay regular into my morning “Kale Surprise” as a friend at home (in Canada) calls it.
I told him, “As a newbie smoothie consumer, do not add kale. It’ll overpower everything. Stick with spinach and cucumbers, then add the rest.”
Of course, he added kale: “God, how can you drink—? This shit is terrible!”
(Me: Rolling eyes.)
“The rest” includes avocado, seeds, nuts, a few other good-for-mes and either (for a 3-day variety rotation) peanut butter, 100% cocoa, or a ginger/honey/date combo. Everything organic, of course. I drink this throughout the day and—Wham!—all my leafy greens in one fell swoop, or rather, one frothy smoothie.
I fill the rest of my palette with hamburgers, steak, sausage, and now—as prescribed—pork! (I always ask if they were happy animals before they were murdered for my eating pleasure, uh, and vitality.)
I may have overdone it today, though. I bought over half a pound of bacon and, in an effort to save energy (both mine and the gas stove’s), I cooked it all and thought that I’d refrigerate the extra and snack on it whenever. (Yes, I eat cold bacon. And butter. Listen, I’ve got a too-low cholesterol thing going on—it’s for my health, people!)
So, as I’m cooking up my hamburger in the bacon fat that surrounds it (efficient cholesterol cheffing), I set aside the crispy cooked bacon to cool …
See, the problem with testing a sample, or samples, while cooking is that one doesn’t pay attention to when one’s eaten all of the bacon. Bacon that was meant for the week, or rather the weak, as in me. The good news is that I’m attending to my health homework, and my cholesterol should be plumped up to standard in no time. (Along with my thighs. Awesome.)
Stanimal, our housemate, the young man whose body is his temple—and business—has given me a 10-day Atkins inspired diet. Though he’s a Frenchman (from Switzerland) and doesn’t know the details of the Atkins diet (neither do I, actually), he’s heard of its principles (lots of protein and fat, minimal carbohydrates).
I asked him, “Because my system is all messed up from stress and, I suspect, from going vegan last year, my thyroid is sluggish, and I gained, like, 10 pounds.” I don’t wait for him to tell me that I look great and that I don’t look like I need to lose any weight because—hello!—he’s a fitness model and that would mean waiting a long time in awkward silence, so I continue, “I want to lose it without losing my butt. Stanimal, can this happen?”
He gives me a look that says “no,” but upon seeing my deflated expression, he blinks rapidly and provides a potential solution. Hence the high protein and fat for a week, which works into the whole port and pork prescription the mad scientist gave me. Don’t worry, once I’m back to normal (I was never “normal,” but we’re talking ideal health, at least) then I can gradually go back to a more balanced diet.
Do not try this at home without medical supervision. (<--Anna’s anus protectus clause.) So, the other night Mermaid and I go to Bungalow—a lounge at The Fairmont Hotel—with the other new housemate, Sussex (I’m sure you can guess why). She’s a yoga and fitness instructor and an overall cutie-pie. A blue-grass band is playing at 9:00pm and, being all rock star cool (not), we wander in at the fashionable hour of 5:45pm. (Sound effect: crickets.) A few friends join us and brave the chill winds of the outdoor-beach-club vibe. We chat and wait for the viewing of Tuesday night socialites to arrive. Funny how we like to people watch and how a room full of humans can evoke energy of connection even when you stick with your own tribe. In one of my conversations, which is, of course about mid-life crises, relationships and dating, I ask the gent, “I know you to be honest, so let’s be honest. How much has my market value dropped by being unemployed and without significant income? Am I date-able? And I don’t mean hook-upable, I mean long term.” He thinks for a minute then replies, “Well, you’re attractive, though not my type, and smart and funny and economically you’re not wealthy but self-sufficient, so those are all good qualities. But you’re over 40 and men in this town can get what you have in a 30-year old, so you’re probably looking at a guy 10 years older.” I’m nodding: “I can handle that.” He continues, “Unless he wants kids. Otherwise, you’ll get short, fat and/or poor.” I stop nodding: “Maybe I’ll get a fern.” We agree to be each others’ wing-person. He whips out his iPhone and logs onto Facebook to show me his ex-girlfriends so I know his type: tall, lithe, blonde. Check. I show him my last (real relationship) boyfriend whose physical being still makes me swoon. His new banner photo is of him with his new way younger girlfriend in a Christmas card theme. Um, uncheck! To be sure, I’m super happy he’s found love—he deserves it. (Mind you, we all deserve it, but you know what I mean.) But it makes me sad that he never publicly acknowledged me and our relationship that way. So I wonder: Did he become the better man for her, or was I never really worth taking that kind of risk for? Finally: my career, my life, my memoir. As I have already spent a lot of my time over the last few years in real estate doing things I didn’t love, which included self-promotion and marketing, I’m not really interested in doing more of that. My (memoir) editor tells me if I want to make a profit, I “have to get good at self-promo.” But I. Don’t. Wanna. So, I may be unemployed without significant income and not wealthy (though rich in personality) for the foreseeable future—which lowers my actual worth (though not my self-worth.) This makes me sad. We interrupt this blog post to update: A realtor from Boulder, Colorado, just emailed me to “learn how to build a winning real estate team” because he Googled such and found the soon-not-to-be-my-real-estate website with articles I’d written on the topic. Apparently, he was impressed with the content and commented that long standing teams with low turn-over are rare. He was very complementary. This makes me happy. What have I (re)learned? Even though no one and nothing can take away our self-worth, (without our permission), our actual market value can, indeed, vary and that’s very sad. Homework: 1. Call. My. Mom. 2. Step away from the bacon. 3. Thank (not) ‘my’ real estate team.