Week 3 (Days 15-21): Come Pie With Me

Let me just tell you that out of frustration while writing something else, I pretended to stab myself with my pen. I didn’t even touch skin but I made the sound effects myself for pretending to be stabbed in the leg, stomach, neck and forehead. Anyway, my puppy came hauling butt from the living room into my office to save me. I thought that was sweet. Freya would have just looked at me like “I hope you left food out for me.”

Alright, so, we made it through the third quarter of the challenge. I think overall week 3 went really well. My challenge last week was “pastry.” I did end up making 3 different types of pasty dough, but only for 2 projects.

My first was an Australian style meat pie, which consists of a short crust base and a puff pastry top. Inside is a yummy filling of ground beef or various things. I actually did ground beef, italian sausage, carrots, mushrooms and then followed the recipe for the gravy. I followed a recipe to get a traditional style Aussie meat pie and while I wasn’t transformed back to the streets of Melbourne, I did enjoy it immensely. Especially after the 2nd day when the filling got to sit a bit and really gain some flavor.

My mom was super impressed that I had made puff pastry. Honestly, I don’t think it’s too much of a bother, it’s just about being correct in timing, measurements and temperature, sort of having to listen to the dough in the sense that if the butter gets too warm it’ll melt through the dough and ruin the consistency. I got a nice rise out of it and I think there is clear lamination? I’m not really sure what I was looking for, but let me tell you, it was a two day process and the 2nd day was EXHAUSTING.

For those of you who cook you may know the feeling, where after a while your lower back starts to hurt and for me, it’s my heels that started to hurt after being in the kitchen too long. After they were done, I was ready for bed. But of course I ate one first.

Meat pies, yummy yummy. Bottom layer short crust.
Top layer Le Puff Pastry.
Nailed it.

The second project was a good ol’ fashioned pie. I am not a big pie fan and have only made pie-like desserts with pre-made crusts, even then it’s usually a graham cracker crust. So from scratch, I made a Julia Child pie crust that my mother insisted was the only pie crust ever worth making. She wasn’t wrong. It was fairly easy and the crust was perfect. Crisp, chewy and tasty and the perfect compliment for my half apple, half peach pie. Honestly, I nailed it. I’m only slightly embarrassed to announce that I’ve eaten the whole thing.

In fact, that fact is the reason why I didn’t do a third bake. The idea of having another pastry/treat in the house made me sick to my stomach. I actually think that pastries are too rich for me. I still want to try to make cream puffs/profiteroles so maybe I’ll do that this week.

The original plan this week was to do patisserie, but again, I just don’t want all the sweets. I really don’t have anyone to give them too since they’re quite a lot and I really don’t want to go to a neighbors house. I’m not friends with any of them and in my opinion that would be odd. Baking seems fairly personal or intimate. It’s something you do want to share with people you know and like. I didn’t use the mixer for any of these recipes. I did them all by hand. It makes it even more personal.

I think the bell jar may be looming a little closer than normal to me, this past week has been a weird one emotionally. I am not getting out of the house much. There are a few reasons why, Emmett is a big one, I don’t like leaving him alone too much since I do put him in his crate when I’m not here so that I have a home to come home to. He gives me teenage boy vibes so I’m afraid he’ll eat through the wall or try to cook mac and cheese while I’m gone and burn the house down.

In addition, I don’t want to spend money. This challenge has proven quite costly and I’m tired of spending money. Also, sometimes I’m really just tired. I’ve been swimming the the gym a few days a week, maybe 3 or so and that helps but I’m just always so tired.

The thought of getting another job terrifies me. I’ve had horrible jobs the past few years and I just don’t want to fucking have to deal with those types of people anymore. I’m so tired of this culture, my best friend has hated the term “grind culture” for a few years now and I always was thinking to myself well I don’t mind if people are grinding out their dreams, but now I see what she means. It’s the regular jobs, our day jobs that just pay the bills that refuse to let us work reasonably. They require every ounce of energy, mental and physical for shitty pay. I can. not. do. that. anymore.

I used to take crappy customer service jobs/front desk jobs for two reasons: 1) I used to be really skilled with people and it came easy and at no cost for me to be pleasant and charming while talking to someone 2) I like to meet travelers and different people. I have lost that skill of talking to people. Now it just drains me. I hate to say that people are stupid, because I know that not everyone is, but it certainly feels like it sometimes.

I do think most people feel the same about others, as if they’re the superior “if only everyone could be ________” type. I notice it when driving. It seem everybody always thinks that everybody else is in the wrong. It’s so upsetting. It’s so frustrating that people can’t pull back and see the big picture. It feels like most people are just on their own channel. “Ugh, can you believe HE did that to ME.” “Ugh there’s traffic now I’M gonna be late to work, MY day is ruined” as they drive past the accident where someone maybe lost their life, or someone lost their car and can’t afford a new one. What if one of those people were rushing to the hospital to say goodbye to a loved one before their last breath, or to be in the delivery room for their first child and they miss it?

It wouldn’t matter so much that you were 5 minutes late to work then, I don’t even think we would mind being delayed because someone else was having a rougher time. But guess who it matters to and why we get mad about it? The boss, or even worse the nosey bitch 2 cubicles down who kept vigilant track of when you start work and take lunch (true story I worked with someone like that and would get spoken to about coming back from lunch 2 minutes late). I get that people give a shit about that – being on time shit, but never once was it mentioned that I never ever left on time, always staying 5-10 minutes after work to make sure everything was taken care of. That time was unpaid because of the way they did payroll. But that didn’t matter, it never mattered. I was two minutes late from lunch and I was the problem.

I deleted the Instagram app from my phone Monday. Ultimately I just realized that not only was it not adding any value to my life, it was taking some away. I’ve never been the type of person to be up to date on trends or gossip, I never really cared, but social media made it so that I kind of had an idea of what was going on. But in order to get that piece of information you have to deal with all the rest. Algorithms are scary. We think they’re only for the content we’re fed on social media, but then you look up from your phone screen and it feels like we’re all living an algorithm of life.

It’s bizarre and unnatural. I started writing a science fiction inspired show, so forgive me because I’m going through a phase where I feel like everyone’s a robot and this is all made up.

A friend of mine texted me yesterday that she was finally able to breathe again after having a really tough week of shit happening. She said she had kind of been down in the dumps because she feels alone. I asked her if she wanted me to chime in my two cents, or just be there to listen, she invited me to chime in. So I did.

I told her that people like us – single people – always want to blame our lonliness on being single. Realistically whenever I get into moods like this where I hate the world, the society we live in and basically everything about life I realize that if I were married I would still feel the same way. These feelings are my feelings, they’re not here because I’m single.

I can’t think of anything worse than being married AND having kids and feeling like this. I would definitely be the mom that runs away and leaves her family. Which feels selfish. I mean, I don’t have kids and this is part of the reason why I don’t. I see it with the way Emmett tests my will and boundaries and mood. I get so mad sometimes, he chewed the remote the other day and I just was absolutely fuming. I yelled at him to stop, but it was weird because it wasn’t even my yell. It was my mother.

My mom loves the saying “I opened my mouth and my mother came out.” This is an extreme example but it was that same guttural tone she’d use when my brother and I did something “wrong.” The thing with puppies, much like children is they don’t have logic or reasoning skills. They don’t know the consequences of actions at that age. They’re just curious and exploring and doing what makes sense to them.

The tone that came out of my mouth, that anger, freaked me out. It didn’t even feel like me and ultimately I wasn’t even mad at him. It was my fault. I know he likes to go for my phone and the remote – and phone chargers – RIP #3 already – and I left the remote on the arm of the couch when I went to shower. When I stepped out of the bathroom in my towel, I saw the living room TV changing screens and for a split second thought there was a ghost then it clicked “EMMETT!!!”

He knew it was bad-bad though because he took the remote from the living and went to hide under my bed to chew it in peace because he knew it was a no no. I’ve been waiting for my therapy appointment to really explore this with her, this anger. I used to have anger problems. I was always so frustrated as a kid, I felt invisible and unheard. I feel like that again. Just another meaningless voice in a sea of voices who are louder and more aggressive, not at all deserving of their carried voice, in my opinion.

I think about this when I watch new TV/movies. A lot of times I just feel like new stuff falls short. But, it’s easy to criticize from the couch. I’m not writing these shows, I’m not out there putting myself up for that kind of criticism or rejection. Instead, I sit at my computer in complete rage and frustration that all of the magical, mystical, wondering, emotional, cerebral moments of stories that I see and feel in my head don’t make their way onto the page.

It’s just a complete hard stop at my finger tips. I can’t for the life of me figure out why I just can’t write. How come all these other people, whether they’re good or not can just sit and do it? How come I can’t. It’s a slow and painful process getting words onto the page for me. Not the blogs, the blogs are just the bile that gets regurgitated up and out when I’m at my limit and have no other way to express this shit that I’m holding in.

It took me years to write the first chapter of my book. Finally, about a month ago I made myself sit down and write it. I didn’t let myself leave this chair until it was done. Once it was done (and mind you it’s not very long) I literally felt like puking. Then I laid on the couch for 24 hours. It was not a pleasant experience and I haven’t been back to try for chapter 2 yet.

If I won the lottery, millions or billions of dollars, you know the old trick – what would you do? This is supposed to be a test to figure out what you really want to do with your life. I know exactly what I would do with it. I would buy a house and then spend the rest of my life making excuses as to why I can’t write. “Well I want to have a Japanese character, I need to go to Japan first.” “Well I can’t write with the bathroom in that condition, I better remodel.”

I wouldn’t be any different. In order to realize your dreams you have to be driven and disciplined. I can be driven, I’ve seen it before. It’s the discipline I have trouble with. It always looks like it comes so easy to every one else, but it’s never really easy. Working hard for yourself is really hard. Putting yourself first is hard. We’re taught that it’s bad or rude, selfish or inconsiderate. Like when we are sick and have to go through the pomp and circumstance of deciding if we’re really sick enough to call out of work. Then deal with the guilt of calling out of work.

What I told my friend about being lonely also is that she only sees what’s missing from her life and judges the value of her life off of that. She doesn’t give herself credit for any of the AMAZING things she’s done in her life, or has in her life which includes her intelligence, wit, humor, beauty, silliness, friends, job, dog, etc. We do a lot of these harmful thoughts and loops to ourselves.

I feel like I’m stuck in an awful loop of feeling sorry for myself and like I just can’t do it. It feels like anytime I try I am met with a resounding “not so fast Duffy.” I just don’t understand. I feel like I work hard enough yet can just never get ahead. I’m specifically talking about money and career now I realize. I’m actually happy and content with other aspects of my life but I wish I didn’t have to worry about money and feel so disgusted by the job world. Sometimes I feel like I’m in a prison, or hell, this is my “bad place” of repetitive outcomes. I wonder if I’ll ever break out?

Couldn’t decide so half apple, half peach.
At first I took the dough off the peach side so I could identify which was which, then I had dough left over so I made a P, for apple.
Loaf #2
Millionaires Avocado Toast, the toast of the 1%
Sautéed bang bang shrimp and parmesan potatoes (ala instagram)
Freya’s birthday cake!

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