Wednesday, April 22, 2009


Yesterday was the hardest day that I have had at work so far. Here was my schedule:

7:45-8:30am - Stretching and meditation class
8:45-11:45 - Rock climbing
12-1 - Lunch
1-2:15 - Challenge Course with adolescents
2:30-4:30 - Kickboxing

I had a long day... After kickboxing, I went to the adolescent unit to pick up my bag from the challenge course and things fell apart. A patient threw a HUGE tantrum and cursed and screamed at the staff from her bathroom. I was concerned for her and what she might do but I was also concerned for the impact this had on the other girls. It was REALLY tough. The other patients began to cry... and then so did I. I really had trouble holding it together!! I sat with the other patients to talk about the incident and what they were feeling. After 2 hours of this, I was EXHAUSTED! My water works would NOT turn off! I just could not stop crying... and it was embarrassing for the other patients to see my like that. They showed concern for me, but I was trying to redirect them back to how it affected them. I finally got home at 8pm... what a day... I have got to find a way to think different thoughts or something to keep from crying, because I know there will be more incidents like this in the future...

What a day...

Friday, April 10, 2009

Life on Mars

I took this picture when we first set up the office, where I'm sitting now, but never posted it. The building in the foreground is the other building in our complex (ours is two stories). The northern part of the city secretly unfolds for about 10 or 15 miles behind the sparse trees until the dramatic rise of the Catalina mountains. With little exception, the city is flat and surrounded by mountains that dominate the skyline. From any mountain around the city you gain enough elevation to see all the way across the city to the mountains on the other side, and the dust that rises throughout the city blurs the bottom of the mountains into the city, making the mountains look like they are just floating in space. It's too surreal for me to appreciate.

Mary and Michael were our first visitors. We had a great time with them. We did tons of cool things with them like mountain biking, hiking, concert, brewery, and in typical Mattimoe fashion we had to cook and eat (and take pictures of the process).

They are scared to be outside of Tech's library for too long, but they were brave and did great.

Ceremonial chickens grilling themselves on Em and my $25 craigslist charbroiler (the same one my parents had when I was a boy). I put diamonds on all my food. My Mom got me that veggie grilling pan a few years ago, and I recommend it. The leftover peppers and onions make the best pasta sauce I've ever had.

Dinner is served! I love the way food looks on our peacock fiestaware plates, and they're durable. We are getting to where we have a respectable house - a far cry from all my other wartorn apartments. If you didn't know us better, you'd swear we were grownups.

Roast chicken is my new favorite meal. It's healthy, cheap, delicious, beautiful, and cetera. Between the two of us, we eat like royalty and have leftovers for under $10. My favorite part is saving the carcasses and making Chicken Stock; my chicken stock is so good, I drink it by the glass.

Emily hd to hold the chicken still while I took this pic. I follow Jacques Pepin's recipe from La Technique, the best cookbook and the final word on preparations of classics.

I season the bird with lavender, grains of paradise, ground bay leaf, and some other stuff for heavenly citrusy floral overtones along with the solid base of classics like S, P, garlic, celery salt, and cumin. I would freak out if there weren't parsnips in that pan too; they give the dish a wonderfully clean earthiness (I think the earthiness the have is more like what mountains would taste like rather than the forresty taste of good fungi).

This is the worst range in the world. I hate induction tops because they get a film of grease on them and look gross, they heat in a nonlinear fashion, and we can't use our tin-lined copper on them.

This is what's for dinner. I've been experimenting with using yogurt instead of butter or cream sauces. After working in a French kitchen and gaining twenty pounds in a matter of months, I don't care what traditionalists say. I make a concentrated flavor sauce base, blix it into the warm yogurt, and then sieve it. They are getting delicious. The main consideration is the acid in the yogurt; I deglazed this sauce with white wine before adding chicken demi and if I'd used butter or cream to thicken it would have been balanced, but it had too much edge with the yogurt. Still a delicious.

Pretty bird.

Not bad for $10.

Em and I are currently busy with work and wedding planning. We are running like dinner with our heads cut off. That's life, and it's made palatable with good cooking and delicious with good company.

"There are some people who lived a lifetime without finding the one who relieved the heart's overflow." -E. Welty