Tag Archives: cooking

“All Out of Love”

I know this is a sappy title, and while yes, my heart is utterly broken still by everything that’s going on, I’m not necessarily saying I’m “All out of Love.”  The issue is that Air Supply is in my head because one of their songs, “The One That You Love” is the #1 song in the current Number Ones article, and jesus that song is awful.   The video though, if you can deal with the song, is pure 1981 distilled into it’s heroin form, or so I’ve heard from “20/20”.

Anyway, Larry loved him some OTT melodramatic songs, and Air Supply was a band that provided those by the metric fuckton in the early 80s.   “All Out of Love” is simply fantastic, and is definitely the song I think of when I think of Air Supply.

It hits all of Larry’s song requirements, especially the powerful chorus allowing you to really belt the song out.  I miss Larry for different reasons at different times, and this morning I miss his singing.   He had a wonderful voice and really could hit those notes.   Anyway, as I sing along to it today, I get verklempt, but not inconsolable.  I’ve noticed a lot of love songs can work as grieving songs, except for the part where it’s just that the object of your affection thinks you’re nuts and isn’t dead.  I’m both happy and sad singing this song, in other words.

Yesterday (Mother’s Day) was a rough day for me.  I’ve told that to those who I talked to yesterday – and it was noticeably harder because I wasn’t prepared for it to be hard.   I first woke up and stumbled upon this article in social media, and damn, it hit hard, as yeah, many of these exact moments were ones we felt (and are still feeling).

Great way to start the day.   Then I tried calling mom with Stacie and she wouldn’t pick up the phone.  Gave up trying to talk to her with Stacie and repeatedly called, hoping she’d pick up.  Finally, after about 6 tries, she calls me back, without any sense of impatience or annoyance.   Just, her default state nowadays.   All that time waiting had already built my anxiety and emotions up and I couldn’t help but start crying on the phone.  She obviously was now aware I was not doing okay, and after talking for about 90 seconds (our average phone call time, nowadays), we disconnected.

I hadn’t really anticipated how much mom’s incapacity was going to hit me yesterday, so it came on like a freight train.   I was not good for most of the day.  I resent all those who still have a semblance of family that cares, that is still coherent, even in quarantine.   Seeing all the social media posts made me rage and cry and yeah, I cried a helluva lot yesterday.  It all sucks.   My friends and Stacie called me and that definitely helped – even just getting some of these emotions out, as painful as they are, helps.

It wasn’t until last night that I kind of turned the corner, when I started making dinner.   I hadn’t made one of the Instant Pot recipes since quarantine had started, and I wanted to do my fave, which is the Coq au Vin recipe.   I had ordered groceries via Instacart on Saturday, and they arrived Sunday morning, so I had everything I needed.   The mise en place always takes the longest time, but I managed to not fuck it up.  Watched videos on how to clean and slice a leek, as well as how to quarter a mushroom.   I was chatting with my friends during this time, and once I started cooking, I had opened my windows.   Across the way, my neighbors were also cooking, and we ended up having a brief conversation.  Having that really short moment of interaction, in person (but separate), was like a revelation.  It helped so much.  Other people interactions.  Go figure.  The dinner turned out fantastic, and while I was taking photos of all the prep and cooking, I ended up having a FaceTime dinner with Nicki so I actually didn’t take a picture of the finished product. D’oh.

Well, it’s back to the grind today.  An emotional day yesterday, but made it through.   The rest of the weekend is kind of a blur, tbh.   I played a lot of both Anno 2205 and Anno 1800, watched more of the The Clone Wars series (it’s so fucking good it’s shocking), watched Ferris Bueller’s Day Off and Spiderman: Homecoming and ate food.  Go, me.

Two Months

This weekend was two months since Larry died after his year-and-a-half battle with cancer.   It’s still hard to deal with and reckon with.   To allow myself to really let it sink in just brings in the emotions and tears, which happens quite a lot still.  This past week was notably more painful for some vague unknown reason – Fran had the same heightened emotions as I did.  Maybe it’s just that it’s been two months, and it is not a temporary thing, like he’s just been gone back east and I had to stay here.   There’s no un-doing of what happened.  Larry has died and I am alive to deal with the fact that he is absent from the world.  I am talking with a therapist one-on-one every week or so, and later this year, I hope to be joining a therapy group for people who’ve lost spouses.  These things are all good and necessary, but they don’t undo the fact that the love of my life is gone.  I tell myself frequently that he’s free from suffering, which helps me to cope, but what I really want is to believe that somehow his presence is still around us, in some way.   He’s in my heart, I know that.  He’s not forgotten.   But it would make me feel better to know he’s some kind of angel or ghost.  I don’t know why that would matter – maybe it’s to know that maybe he’s able to be happy when I do something he liked.  It wouldn’t feel so empty.

I am trying to make things work for me here in reality.  I’ve been fairly proud of myself in attempting to cook meals much more fancy than I ever would have pre-Larry.  They’re not fine cuisine, but still, I cooked a filet mignon yesterday and that is pretty cool, right?   Cooking has been the thing that for me is what makes me feel closest to Larry, so I’m not keen on stopping.  I have his recipes that he used to make all the time, and I’m going to dive into those.  The Instapot has been amazing too, and Nicki got me a Mediterranean Instant pot cookbook that has some delicious-looking recipes I can’t wait to try.   If the coronavirus doesn’t kill us all.   That’s another thing – I am honestly glad Larry isn’t around in his weakened condition during this pandemic scare – I hope it ends up not being a complete disaster, but it’s impact probably isn’t going to be minimal, regardless.   And with a compromised immune system, if he had gotten coronavirus and that would have been the factor that caused his death, I’d be even more devastated than I already am.

So yeah, I’m just trying my best to make him proud, and to make myself not hole up and surrender.   I’ve been doing a Yoga program on Youtube (Yoga with Adriene – I LOVE IT) every morning and I do feel better doing these things – notably in my lower back, as I think it’s helped undo a lot of the tension-building the last 43 years of my life have stored.  We’ll see.  I’m also trying to be up for going or doing whatever friends are suggesting, within reason.  It’s been good to get out.

This week is tough as it’s when we move mom into the new home.  It’s for the best, and will give some peace of mind.  But I just need a fucking break.  But I don’t think one is coming.   C’est la vie. In the meantime, here are some pics from the last week or so with friends and at home.  Enjoying life as best I can.   Larry is never out of my mind and I miss him so fucking much.  Sometimes it makes me smile, but a lot of times it just makes me sad and cry.

Pot Roast – March 3:

Firefly dinner with Barb – March 6:

Seeing “Couples Therapy” comedy show at The Virgil with Nicki – March 7:

Just Sunday – March 8:

Duvet Cover Update

To soften that heavy last post, here’s some pics of the duvet cover that I got at Pottery Barn on Saturday.   I love it, and after two nights with it, I’m happy with the sleep.  It adds a bit more weight to the blanket which is something I like.   We’ll see how the summer goes though.  Might have to revert back to just the blue.

Anyway, my mom’s assessment is today, so we’ll know what they think and how much care she really needs.  I’m nervous.

I’m making Larry’s pot roast recipe today in the slow cooker.   It smells delicious in here, and I hope he’s proud in some way that I’m still trying to cook his favorites.   I went to the grocery store yesterday to get not only ingredients for pot roast, but also the baked ziti and spaghetti carbonara.   The recipes are there but I know that there’s probably gonna be issues, but I gotta try.

Cooking For Myself

I was this close to making this a new entry in my “Larry Loved” series of posts, but I don’t have the energy to do that just yet, as honestly, a huge part of who he was was cooking, and to try to just throw a little post about me having a good cooking night isn’t fair to what should be discussed.

So instead of that, I’ll just kvetch about the fact that I’m back to having to cook and feed myself again.  I’d managed to do so before I met Larry and when I was in the military, but looking back at it now, I really didn’t do that great a job of it.   Lots of mac and cheese, lots of sorta sad attempts at chicken…and a metabolism that allowed me to make plenty of crap and not blow up to the size of a bigger Hobie.  The last 11 years though?   I got used to living it a little bit nicer with Larry’s ambitious and delicious views on cooking (and gained the weight to prove it).  He loved it.  And now I have a kitchen full of any device a reasonably ambitious cook would need.  I don’t want it to go to waste, and I actually enjoy having nice(r) meals.

What sucks about cooking for yourself is that it’s work, both in prep, execution, and cleanup.  Larry and I had split those duties up (probably not fairly, tbh – but it worked) but now it’s all me, and do I go to a ton of trouble for just me?  So I started sorta basic this week – making chicken, brown rice, and green beans.  Kind of a balanced meal, right?   I think Larry would have been proud: I found a recipe online for salt and pepper chicken in the oven, and bam, it fucking tasted amazing.  I made the rice on the stovetop and kind of found out things to do better, like keeping the heat a little higher as I still had water in the pot even after 20 minutes.  Also discovered that brown rice is better for you but certainly doesn’t taste that great.  But I gotta say, the food was overall delicious and it did make feel like Larry’s energy was with me.

A random aside:  Larry kept all his recipes in the Paprika iPad app.  All of them.  So like, it’s a total Larry treasure trove.  I did worry I’d lose them though as they’re all on what is literally like an iPad 3, so it’s supa dupa old.  If that thing died, I’d lose the recipes.  So I bought the app on my iPad, and finally figured out how to export the recipes from Paprika to the cloud, and then use my account, and re-import them.  Now I’ve got all his recipes, and I can breathe a sigh of relief as losing those would just feel like losing a huge part of him.  We had so many “go-to” recipes that I’ll one day get the motivation to make.   So between this week’s chicken combo (which I’m making again), the Instapot, and now these recipes, I think I should be able to be a functional, well-mannered man who can cook meals for others soon.  I definitely want to sign up for some cooking classes to just get confident in certain skills.  But that’s a post for another day.

A Nice Weekend

I’ve discovered I can start crying at the drop of a hat.  Okay, to be more specific, grieving for me can be “okay one minute – absolutely crestfallen the next.”  It’s obviously what grief is in terms of a definition, but it just can take a lot out of you.  This morning, I woke up and just started crying, and that was because I started just thinking about all the things that have happened or are happening in my life, and it just made me sad and anxious.  I have to trust that there is a light at the end of the tunnel, but right now, it’s all tunnel.

Why am I writing that?   Just that when nice things happen, it’s good to enjoy them, as I can find myself very easily in the midst of crying.   So this past weekend, it got started out right by having dinner with Carey & Paras at the Sugarfish in Hollywood.  As I’ve raved previously, Sugarfish is the shit.  The best sushi around especially at the price point you get it at.

The key is to get there a little ahead of the rush – we got seated around 5:45, which was perfect.   When we left around 7, the waiting area was packed, and since Sugarfish doesn’t do reservations, you gotta wait.  We then headed down the street to Arclight to see The Gentlemen.   I had barely heard of this Guy Ritchie movie, and let me tell you, it’s fucking awesome.   An exciting and compelling crime story with a bunch of movie stars having a blast.  If, like me, you’d never heard of it before, by all means go check it out.  Fun stuff.  Hugh Grant is so far from his typical “Hugh Grant”-ness it’s mind-blowing.

Jan 31 Night at Sugarfish and Arclight with Carey & Paras:

On Saturday, I went over to visit mom for the first time since going with her to Helen’s for Christmas Eve.  I brought the wedding album I’d put together and she was able to remember all of that and the things we did then, and she managed to remember Larry had died, but it’s just not the same person.  Stacie and I are going to have to look to find a place for her to live, such as independent or assisted living as it just can’t continue on with how it is now, as it’s no way to live.  So on the way back home, I just wanted to try to make Larry proud, so I picked up filet mignons (enough for 3 people) and potatoes and broccoli, as I invited Nicki and Sveta over for dinner.  Everybody pitched in to help make dinner, and we ended up having medium-rare filets, baked potatoes, and roasted garlic broccoli.  It was fucking great.  Ended up mostly just talking that night, although I keep wanting to play “Ticket to Ride”, the actual board game. One day.

Feb 1 Filet Mignon Night with Nicki & Sveta:

On Sunday, I endeavored to try to start the process of cleaning up some of Larry’s stuff.  As it is now, I can’t even touch his clothes or shoes, whether they’re in the closet or on the dresser.  It hurts too much to think about it and the tears, as explained above, come like clockwork.  So I thought I’d take it easy on myself and just try to clear out some of the bathroom pills and such.  Well, I did manage to clear out stuff that probably Larry should have thrown out long ago, as well as remove excess stuff.   Still couldn’t get rid of things like his glasses though.  It’s not like I can even wear his glasses as my head is too big for his frames; nor can I wear his pants or shoes, so it makes sense that I should probably work on those to go.  But it’s just, I don’t think I can bear to have the closet half empty, or the drawers only filled on my side, as right now, I’m not triggered when I walk into my bedroom.  There’s something comforting about his stuff being there still.  But as I type this with tears in my eyes, I know I have to start bracing myself for that, and maybe I have friends with me when I do, but I don’t even know if that will help.  Fuck all of this.

Yes, I’ve begun the process of seeing a therapist.  She’s come over to the house a few times, and it’s still been an assessment period, so I think the next time would be truly the first session?  But these first few times have felt like a way to talk about these things I’m feeling and I guess it helps.  I just want to see if the tunnel ends.

Later on Sunday, Nicki kept me company while we watched the Super Bowl.  Still don’t really care about it, but at least the game was interesting and the commericals were okay.  The half time show was awesomesauce: