Bold Fortune

fortune favors the bold

Month: December, 2012

Because I don’t buy books as decorative items

by mollykl

Usually about this time after Christmas I start thinking about my New Year’s resolutions. This year, however, I’ve decided that I’m damn near perfect, that all of my supposed “faults” are my best attributes and that anyone who doesn’t think so can kiss my ass. So instead of a list of resolutions I’m writing up a list of the books I want to re-read. Yes, re-read. I’m not going to bother with a list of the books I want to read, because I never know what they may be – I tend to find books and authors randomly, then go through their entire catalog like wildfire. Ah, but re-reading…that tells you something is worth the effort.

1. Pride & Prejudice

2. The Secret Garden

3. My Garden Companion

4. In Defense of Food

5. Sailing the Wine-Dark Sea

6. Thunderball

7. It’s a boy!

8. The Perfectly Imperfect Home

9. Strong Poison

10. The Leopard’s Prey

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What’s in a name: Plan B

by mollykl

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Do you have that place where, when you walk in you feel immediately at ease? For husband J and I it’s Plan B. We go there when we want a nice meal on the town, we go there when it’s been a horrible day, we go there when we just want to relax and have some good food. We’ll sit and talk or we’ll sit and pointedly not talk, because for us it’s the restaurant where we can just relax and be at ease.

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Son J has heard the phrase, “Let’s go to Plan B” so often that he’s probably never going to understand the other context.

So one night we were there and I was staring mindlessly through the lettering on the window and when owner Lucas came to our table with my (second) cocktail I just had to ask, “How DID you get the name Plan B?”

Turns out that Lucas was hired to turn around a restaurant here in Sacramento. Of course after he’d moved his family the deal went south. So, ta-da! Plan B was born. The original Plan B was in the Greenhaven/Pocket neighborhood. Oddly enough, for quite a while I carried around a card from them in my work planner. I’d found it and thought, “Hey French food! I should try that place!” I never did. In the meantime they moved out to the Arden area.

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I don’t remember how exactly we came upon it but let me just say that when we were house-hunting one of the coolest things about our current house was that it was so close to Plan B. I’m not saying that it was the ONLY reason we bought the house….but they do make a damn fine cocktail.

Get the Plan B cocktail (actually get a few of them) Get the Mussels Epice. Get the frisee salad. Anything with mushrooms, get it. Anything with fries, get it (the fries are to DIE for). I’m boring and I almost always get the same thing, but whenever I try something new I’m never disappointed.

If you know me then you know that I am quite socially awkward. I tend to have mild panic attacks when out in public, and since I work with the public that can make for long days. Finding a place where I can just relax and breathe is priceless.    I also happen to get to eat really well in the process.

Zen and the Art of Home Maintenance

by mollykl

Fact: I was such a slob as a kid that my sister and I got our own bedrooms because my parents felt it was unfair for her to have to share a room with me. That all changed when my dad died. You know how people joke “Oh, I’m so OCD”? Well, with me it wasn’t a joke, and it wasn’t some  “I like things neat” teenager phase. I came home everyday and cleaned the house. I vacuumed the edges of the carpet, up against the baseboards, with an attachment for God’s sake. EVERY DAY. Used pledge on the furniture. EVERY PIECE OF FURNITURE. That house was never so clean. As my mom said, years later, “I knew you probably needed some help…but the house was getting so clean.”

Turns out I didn’t need help or someone to talk to – I just needed something to channel my energy into. To this day when I get stressed out, what do I do? I clean. I try to meditate, but my mind won’t shut up. Ahh…but if I’m cleaning….

I can completely lose myself in a task for ten-fifteen-twenty minutes at a time. I like order. I have a messy life and very messy emotions. I’m volatile and expressive and cleaning the house is the one time I get to make everything orderly. And let’s face it: I have a six year old. My life is never going to resemble a brochure from some spa in Bali. But my towels might.

I read an article in Whole Living magazine once about taking on cleaning as a meditative experience. You know, “before enlightenment chop wood carry water, after enlightenment…chop wood carry water…”. I believe it. Husband J often will say, as he’s leaving for work on Thursday (my day off) morning, “Don’t clean! Relax!” And then he’ll come home 9 hours later to a clean house and sigh.  What he doesn’t get is that IS how I relax. I love to look at a clean house, where everything is in it’s place. I know it won’t stay there…that’s not the point. The point is that there is one thing in the universe that I can control for a moment. I’ll happily take that moment knowing it’s fleeting.

To access my Cleaning board of Pinterest click here. Oh yeah, I have an entire board dedicated to cleaning. Because that’s how I roll. (Memo to self: that’s really not a phrase I should be using.)

 

Read.

by mollykl

These are my books.

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Well, these are some of my books. There are more upstairs, and still more (424, wait, no 425, I just bought a book ten minutes ago, to be exact) on my Kindle.

Let me start off by saying I used to be like you. I used to be a snob about books. They had to be paper. There’s nothing like a paper book, I would exclaim! It’s about the sensory experience of reading a book: handling the paper, the heft of the book! Now I’m just embarrassed by everything I said. I’ve definitely changed my mind since my post “The death of print (just kidding!)”

So what changed? Realizing I could take most of my library with me. Seeing how easy it is to use an e-reader. Yes, it would be nice to have 424, wait make that 425,  more books around the house, if only to accentuate to the world at large that I read, but that’s a lot of space. A lot of paper. A lot more to be dusted.

More importantly I think what changed is how I value a book. Husband J once said that we assign a different value to books than we do to music, because that’s who we (he and I) are. I still treasure my tangible books. I have my first editions and my editions that are of value to no one but myself. I still read my copy “The Secret Garden” that is falling apart from mildew damage that I bought at a bookstall in London for 4 pounds. My copy of “The Sun Also Rises” that traveled with me through Europe will probably make it to college with son J.

Yes, the physical experience of reading a book, the feel and scent of the paper, the weight, is important, but it’s not the only thing.

Because remember, there are words there too.

“Yes, the newspapers were right: snow was general all over Ireland.”

by mollykl

But this is California. Central California, no less, which hasn’t seen snow since 1986 (or so J tells me.) But when I lived in Spokane we saw snow. First big, real snow of the season, I’d find a comfy place to hide out, usually in the english department building, curl up nice and warm, re-read James Joyce’s “The Dead” and watch the snow fall.

Grab a port, or a scotch, and a comfy chair and a copy of “The Dead”, reflect on your mortality and the concept of grace and enjoy the snow falling softly and some of the finest words ever written in the English language.

“Yes, the newspapers were right: snow was general all over Ireland. It was falling on every part of the dark central plain, on the treeless hills, falling softly on the Bog of Allen and, farther westward, softly falling into the dark mutinous Shannon waves. It was falling, too, upon every part of the lonely churchyard on the hill where Michael Furey lay buried. It lay thickly drifted on the crocked crosses and headstones, on the spears of the little gate, on the barren thorns. His soul swooned slowly as he heard the snow falling faintly through the universe and faintly falling, like the descent of their last, upon all the living and the dead.”

James Joyce