Day 22 – tomatoes

Day 22 - this jungle needs pruning//embedr.flickr.com/assets/client-code.js

It’s a jungle in there! I definitely need to start pruning some of these, since the top leaves are starting to bloc the light from reaching the lower leaves. I also need to keep encouraging vertical growth.

I’m also starting to consider whether I want to keep them going in the AeroGarden all the way through (to when they produce fruit) or transfer them to a container outside. I have some herbs that I want to get started soon.

Jones bbq sauce!

Like many (apparently), we went online to purchase some Jones BBQ sauce after seeing them in an episode of Queer Eye. It arrived over the weekend and I immediately started brainstorming some ideas to use it up. Their sauce is sweet and tangy. No, really… it’s sweet and tangy. A little too much for my liking so, not something I would use as an everyday sauce. But, there are definite uses.

Ugh, Mondays.
Grilled bbq shrimp

Grilled shrimp came to mind, first. Sweet and tangy goes well with shrimp (in my opinion). And, with the weather (warm) and light (yay for being lighter later in the day) cooperating, I grilled some up on Monday evening.

The skewers came out really well, with just the right amount of char on the shrimp and veggies. I also grilled some corn on the cob and zucchini to go with it. All in all, not a bad dinner for a Monday evening. It also felt really good to be outside in the evening after a long day in front of a computer (work).

This evening (Tuesday) I’ll be using the rest of the bottle to make some shredded chicken sandwiches. That’s one of our favorites, too!

Five Things for the Week

//I’m still experimenting with the format. Last week’s “Five Things for the Week” was combined with “Recently Read, Watched, and Listened”. In this week’s, as you will see, the two were merged.

1. On mental health

Something inside of me is broken. The good thing is that I’m getting closer and closer to figuring out what it is. And logic would dictate that once I do figure out what it is, then I should be able to figure out how to fix it. Admittedly, I have known something was broken for a while. It just that it wasn’t until recently that I started to try to identify what it was.

2. On adoption

My last post was a short vent about something that triggered me. Like I say in that post, I don’t write or speak publicly about adoption. I do write and think about it a lot. It’s my way of processing feelings and thoughts that I have not only about adoption as a “thing” but, as an adoptee and the experience I have. There are times when I do want to be more public about expressing myself as an adoptee, even wanting (at times) to add my voice to some of the issues around it… Perhaps soon.

3. Read

If You Want to Kill Someone, We Are the Right Guys This reads like a season of FX’s Fargo.

Students Live In Tents, Do Homework Under Flashlights, And Deal Without Textbooks Months After California’s Massive Camp FireSchoolwork was difficult enough for me, having a desk and other resources at home. I can’t imagine trying to do it in a tent, using a flashlight. This is an incredible look into how students are coping after the destruction.

Blair Braverman on the Iditarod, Fear, and Resilience“I was learning to break the impossible into tiny pieces. I was learning the difference between limits that can and can’t be pushed. I kept waiting for the trail to get easier, but maybe it wasn’t going to. Maybe all you could do was keep moving.”

“Fixer Upper” Is Over, But Waco’s Transformation Is Just Beginning “Do I love this? Do I hate this? Or do I just resent how effectively I’m being marketed to?” This is my thought with most things I encounter. This is a long read but fascinating. The “Magnolia Effect” is going to be a documentary some day, I know it.

4. Watched

Kung Fu Hustle Watching this again after several years (I first saw it in 2004 when it was released), and it still was a fun experience. Movies aren’t made like this often, with tongue in cheek humor and characters that are just, fun! Still as entertaining as the first viewing, if not more so.

Patriot Act, Vol. 2 – My respect for Hassan Minaj grows. I love the mid-90s NBA references.

5. Listened

Three Apple Music playlists in heavy rotation: 1) Top 100: Global, 2) Top 100: Korea, and 3) Top 100: USA. There’s a lot of crossover but I like the Korean one the best. K-Pop! Duh!

an adoptee pain point

Ah yes, the ol’ joke about how the person must be adopted because they’re so different from the rest of the family… so different, in fact, that they couldn’t possibly belong with the rest of them.

You’re not one of us. Cue laugh track!

Hilarious.

So funny that it makes me want to literally punch the person who wrote the line in the face. And then punch anyone else involved who allowed it to make to air.

Listen, I’m adopted. It’s really complicated… the experience, the feelings, the thoughts… it all has so many layers that it’s really hard to understand them all. Even more so, it’s harder to feel comfortable with it all; to feel comfortable with yourself and who you are.

I have a great family, and an overall good adoption experience but, adoption – and being an adoptee – is not a “thing” that can be summed up with a binary “good” or “bad”. Like I said, it’s really complicated.

I don’t (publicly) write about it because I still struggle to understand a lot of things around it. Every adoptee has a different experience, a different story, and a different set of feelings that they need to work to understand. Each adoptee will react differently to things like this. Some might even find that joke funny.

That is 100% valid and acceptable.

It. Is. Complex.

I have my own pain points. I have my own triggers.

That ol’ joke? Yeah, that’s a trigger. Yes, it’s a pain point.

Wrap party

Homemade Vietnamese dinner

One of our favorite things is when a friend hosts a “wrap party”. This is where she prepares all of the ingredients to make one of the best home cooked dinners we ever have. She prepares the meat filling for egg rolls, lays out egg roll wraps and rice paper and then puts us to work. Usually there are at least five pairs of hands busy filling and wrapping egg rolls, stacking them high on a baking sheet so that she can take them into the kitchen to fry them.

Prior to us even arriving, she has prepped the vegetables, a beautiful plate of varying shades of green. There’s lettuce, cucumbers, green apple, cilantro, and other herbs. While the guests are wrapping egg rolls, she is preparing beef, pork, and shrimp for our rice paper rolls. Each person gets their own dish of fish sauce and sweet chili sauce for dipping. Then there are bowls of pickled radishes.

All of a sudden, plates of grilled pork, beef, and shrimp arrive. Then come the rice noodles. Then the golden brown egg rolls. And then the rice paper which we get to get ever so slightly damp, so that we can wrap the veggies and the meat into an opaque roll.

It’s all just so damn good. And the only thing better than the food is the conversations, and just being with friends.

Her mom stopped by for a few minutes (to pick something up) and I witnessed this exchange:

Friend’s mom (in Vietnamese): is he Japanese?

Friend (in Vietnamese): No, he’s Korean.

Friend’s mom, with disappointing tone: Oh.

I was sitting right next to her (friend’s mom). She was so disappointed that I wasn’t Japanese. It was funny and adorable and funny. Really, she was “disappointed” that she hadn’t guessed correctly.

Being the conversation was in Vietnamese, I only heard/understood: Japan? No, Korea. Oh.

Still makes me laugh. It was so funny.