So, starting in December, I decided to take a hiatus from doing pretty much anything that wasn't directly related to getting a job--that included blogging, taking pictures, going on vacation, and having friends. And, you know, it must have worked, because I ended up getting the job of my dreams: one that was just about worth five-and-a-half years of graduate school and a five-and-a-half months of searching for a job on top of that. After my first official week of gainful employment as a Chemical Engineer, I decided to take a bike ride downtown to buy a few pairs of pants befitting of my new position. Banana Republic was having a sale, and to get there, I had to pass through the intersection of Market St. and Octavia Blvd., where there are not only signs posted informing drivers that no right turns are allowed, but also signs instructing cyclists to watch for cars making prohibited right turns.
Well, you can see where I'm going with this: into the side of a Toyota 4Runner. Less than an hour later, I was in an emergency room and a doctor was pointing at an x-ray of my left humerus and explaining to me that "the top fell off the ice cream cone," which I kind of appreciated because it's a food metaphor and I have a food blog, and, hey, everybody likes ice cream (also, morphine). Following up with an orthopedic surgeon two days later, I learned that "the ice cream also fractured into five pieces" and "oh my God, you need surgery tonight." I really dislike mixed metaphors, so that information didn't sit as well with me.
I'll spare you any more gory details, but this bone marrow that Jeff and I roasted on New Year's Eve looked a lot like my CT scan (coarse salt, parsley, and crostini not included). It's funny, because one thing I've embraced over the past few months is that I really have a strong need to make lists, to make plans, to impose order on my life. It's how I got through Thanksgiving. One of my favorite days in recent memory was the day before my thesis was due, which began with a sheet of printer paper and a schedule of seventeen tasks. Many of these tasks bifurcated and trifurcated over the course of the afternoon, and one of them was "nap in supply closet, 45 min." It was the best day.
So if you had said to me on March 16th--Sam, you can do anything you want today, just don't be crossing Octavia during this two-second window around 3:30 PM because a car is going to make an illegal right turn--you know, I probably could have handled that. I would have added that to my schedule. Not that I want to compare my broken arm to the loss of the Titanic, especially with all the senseless violence that's been going on in the world over these past few months, but the last stanza of The Convergence of the Twain has been resonating with me recently:
Till the Spinner of the YearsSaid "Now!" And each one hears,And consummation comes, and jars two hemispheres.
Or maybe more appropriate for a food blog: If I knew you were coming, I'd have baked you a cake. That's not entirely true; I would not, under any circumstances, have baked any confection for the idiot iceberg of an SUV driver that collided with me. But I did end up baking one for myself a week after the crash, just to prove that I still knew my way around the kitchen on Percocet, that one wounded wing wouldn't stop me from slicing perfect rounds of citrus. Choosing for my trial run in the kitchen an upside-down cake, which required flipping over a ten-pound cast-iron skillet, may not have been the best decision.
And while the blood orange polenta cake made a serviceable breakfast during my first week back at work (my arm is broken; I can eat cake for breakfast every day), it didn't quite have the crunch or richness that I usually look for in a polenta cake. If I had it to do over again, I might have prepared the blood orange topping as directed, then poured David Lebovitz's olive oil polenta batter over it. And I might have waited for Jeff to get home before flipping it out of the pan.
And I might taken MUNI downtown to buy pants instead of riding my bike, and I might have applied to this company six months ago. But you know what? I have a great job, my arm is in good shape these days, I'm buying a new bike as soon as I get clearance from my surgeon, and it's springtime. Things are looking up overall, and I can bake you a cake anytime you want. Come on over! Bring pants.