Aug 15, 2015

Republican politics and macaroni salad

My cat Fox, who has mastered The Art of the Nap.
I was going to call this post "Bored now." Or possibly "Summertime blues." But then there was the macaroni salad... okay.

I should probably start by apologizing for not posting here for months, but everybody apologizes for not posting on their blog for months. And in fact, I've been writing constantly. I'm actually taking a writing break now since I'm between shows.

And yet, here I am, posting something personal instead of a review. Maybe I'm just not capable of taking a real writing break, as in actually NOT WRITING at all.

Last summer was incredibly busy. We'd just moved from one end of the U.S. to the other and whenever you move three thousand miles, there's a lot of settling in to do. But this summer has been different. I've mostly been writing reviews, painting, reading, listening to my neighbors' herd of yappy dogs yapping away, wishing I had a swimming pool, and avoiding Republican politics as much as possible.

Okay, I have to say something about Republican politics because it's all anyone is talking about right now. Can you believe the Republican front runner is a rich, racist, sexist braggart, the very definition of the Ugly American? What's really frightening is that this man who is running for president honestly doesn't realize how ridiculous his hair is, and even worse, he doesn't have actual policies to discuss. I suppose he could just borrow his platform from the other Republican candidates: war mongering, raping the planet, hating women, screwing over the poor, voter suppression, I could go on. But I'll stop now, hope I haven't alienated you, and move on to another topic.

The truth is, I'm having some empty nest issues. Daniel went to trucker school in June and got his commercial license, and now he's off somewhere in the midwest driving an eighteen-wheeler. I'm happy for him because he needed a job, but I'm not used to this much time alone. At least I have family and friends close by, which I didn't have in California. But I'm spending way too much time talking to my cat Fox. He's cool about it, but he misses Daniel, too.

What do I really want to do, other than lounge by my nonexistent pool? I want to travel. I dream about travel. I actually fantasize about throwing a mattress in the back of a van and taking off. But it's not in the financial cards right now. Plus my great aunt has Alzheimers. She was my favorite relative the entire time I was growing up, the woman I always looked up to and wanted to emulate. So I'm not sorry that I gave up my full time job and moved here, only a mile away from where she lives. I knew there would be money issues, and that's okay. But I'd love to travel. Hey, it's good to have goals.

At least the summer hasn't been a total loss. Pluto flyby! Can you believe Pluto has a heart on it? And I've been working on a new recipe for macaroni salad. It has balsamic vinegar and an entire can of pitted black olives in it. Maybe I should write a book. Not about macaroni salad or Republican politics, though. Science fiction, maybe. I don't think I could write a mystery or a romance.

So what are you doing this summer?

Added a couple of days later: I did finally perfect my recipe for macaroni salad. Here it is.

4 cups cooked, drained and cooled macaroni
1/2 cup red pepper, roasted, peeled and diced
3 tablespoons of thinly sliced scallions, or grated Vidalia onion
1 can large pitted black olives, cut in halves
1 cup diced celery
3/4 cup mayonnaise
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
2 tablespoons sugar
a little milk (optional)
salt and pepper

Assemble first five ingredients, and make dressing separately before combining.

Obviously, tinkering with this recipe to suit yourself is the way to go, and halving it is probably smart if you're not sure you're going to like it. I happen to love celery and black olives, but don't care much for red pepper unless it's roasted and peeled. If you can handle raw red pepper, go for it. One mistake I kept making was using too much macaroni and not enough dressing. I finally upped the amount of mayo, vinegar and sugar, and it worked. The balsamic makes the dressing look pale brown. That doesn't bother me, but if it bothers you, another type of vinegar might work. I like really good balsamic vinegar on my salads and it just tastes better to me than other vinegars.


ChrisB said...

I love the sound of that macaroni salad! Mine is so boring. Yummy, but boring. I've spent the summer reading and knitting an afghan. Or, at least trying to.

I agree you with completely on the politics. I can't bring myself to get too invested in it all yet. It just makes me sad.

Great post, Billie.

Emily said...

Yes you should definitely write a book! I love your writing.

Billie Doux said...

Thanks so much, Emily! ChrisB, if I perfect the proportions, I'll post the recipe. It's not quite right yet. Macaroni, celery, roasted and peeled red pepper, green or vidalia onion, and a dressing of mayo, balsamic vinegar, sugar and milk.

iolanthe said...

Hi Billie,
I just found this site in a roundabout way when I was looking at things about La femme Nikita. I read one of your reviews of the show and found my way here. You remind me of someone I used to chat in a chat room with about the show, back in the day.

This summer I have alternated between tons of activity and total slothfulness. It's been hard to find the happy medium. It's too hot here in Texas right now and I want to hibernate. Much better to do it in the summer when the sun is relentless. I'm writing a long story and reading some novels and taking care of people and things. When it's nightfall I go out on the front porch to look for the toads who come visit a tiny pond I set up for them in the garden. It feels peaceful to watch them soak in the water and hop around catching bugs.

Billie Doux said...

Hi, K -- I know what you mean about Texas, because I lived in Austin while I was going to grad school and the months of constant heat just gets so oppressive! I also hated the fire ants biting my toes in my bathroom.

That wasn't me in the chat room btw. :) I didn't discover LFN until after it was over. The DVDs hadn't all been released, either. That's me, with the perfect timing. But when I started doing the reviews, the LFN fans I met online were so incredibly kind. It was one of the earliest shows I reviewed. Nice memories.

Billie Doux said...

I just added my finalized recipe for macaroni salad to the end of this post. FWIW.

Anonymous said...

Oh Billie - the 2nd "debate" is on now and I just can't even listen to it. Please, Please Dems, get your act together and make sure none of these folks make it to the White House!!!


Billie Doux said...

Sooze, I'm not watching it, either. It's practically unbearable.