Saturday, February 26, 2011

Dignity In Defeat And The Beauty Of Brainstorming

Oh, the minutiae that clouds my mind in the course of one week. I need to find some clarity and focus as my easily-muddled mental state seems constantly under siege by dastardly and dark, say, bright and shiny objects. I've always been the Dean of big, overstuffed chair at home looks like a Pop Culture Command Center. The Netbook sits open to my blog stats or Facebook; the TV flickers with a myriad array of mindlessness made even more accessible with our treasured Tivo and now, I've finally upgraded to a smartphone and my splintered cerebellum is strained once more.....and I love it that way. However, from the various film and food sites on my Netbook to the endless choices of programs to DVR, I'm distracted to the point of dangerous diversion. Two years ago this month, the K-Man bought me my Netbook and it wasn't long before I was lost in the world of Facebook and then, further on, deep into the addictive online gaming world of Mafia Wars. I was so ensconced in that game that it reminded me of when I first discovered the internet on my friend Kaki's computer: I was starting to become the Charlie Sheen of chatrooms; a ranting loon who needed to be physically extricated from the computer. So now, I have my new Smartphone and am awash in the world of apps and Angry Birds (check out the cool Angry Birds cake I found on Google!). Surrounding myself with this Triumvirate of Technology definitely has me feeling connected....and yet in a strange fog of disconnect as well.

My brain has felt continuously cloudy and I attributed that to the events of the past several years that then concluded with Dad's passing. I've been working on regrouping mentally, emotionally and physically but the course is slow and steady. The weather doesn't help but I'm not doing a repeat performance of my seasonal woes.....though I will admit that this latest snowstorm has me feeling like the Salvador Dali clock that Claire got Keith. I struggled with writing the blog these past couple of months as I've lacked a bit of a spark lately and even the cooking itself has shown that. Keith and I together have made some bang-up grub but when I'm on my own; I'm still distracted and unfocused. Still working on cooking with on-hand ingredients, I made chicken tacos. They were some seriously sad-ass chicken tacos. I overcooked the chicken, overdid the spices and learned a tad too late that the tortillas were stale. The only successful part was the black bean sauce I whipped up with a blended up concoction of canned black beans and jalapenos with lime juice and a touch of Mexican seasoning. I continued to be a bit pissy in regard to my failed tacos until Keith reminded me that not every meal needs to be a masterpiece and sometimes,well, it just sucks. That's how we learn. My immediate reaction to his level-headed platitude was to smack him in the head with the copy of the Omnivore's Dilemma I was reading but realized quickly that of course, he was right. Be dignified in defeat and head back to the drawing board....or cutting board, in this case.

As for my befuddled brain, I rediscovered the power of a good brainstorming session. Many moons ago in my hometown region of West Virginia and Ohio, Kristy, Carl, and various other friends would gather at Kaki's charming Marietta apartment and toss out ideas on ways to improve and grow Kaki's family florist business. I've written often of the Greenhouse and this was another of those laugh-filled memories. Kak would whip up some munchies, such as her fabled curry dip and we'd crack a few beers and let the neurons fire. Today, this beloved business has grown into a store more special than our wildest imaginations....but the sparks for that wildfire were ever-present way back when.

Friday night, I accompanied Keith to another brainstorming session and this time I observed more than participated. Keith, in his job as the director of the Downtown Partnership was meeting with the Mayor and other folks for a strategic session of their own and I was invited to tag along. This time, the locale was Mayor Carolyn's stunning kitchen and luckily for us, her husband Jim was weaving some of his culinary magic. He made homemade pita bread and utilized a very sleek and cocky-looking tortilla maker when doing it. The steam in the tortilla maker created a high-pitched whine that established the moniker of Screaming Pita. That pita may have emitted an unholy scream but it was seriously delicious; particularly when served with some spicy roasted red pepper and cheese dip. I sat in on the brainstorming and my mind was sparked by their creative teamwork. It was not unlike that brainstorming session of old...a meeting of the minds over good food and drink in a room ablaze with hearty laughter and creative fire. This time, the table was strewn with iPads instead of legal pads but the process and results were much the same.

In both sessions, the group would head home, mentally exhausted yet creatively juiced. I watched it happen with a small but treasured hometown business and now I'm witnessing it occur with a small but treasured town by the name of Excelsior Springs. Thanks to the brainstorming session, my mind is once again feeling stimulated and I hope to maintain that. I can't wait to see the vision become something beyond our wildest dreams once again.


Anonymous said...

You always make me smile, my dear. Miss You.
Love, Court

Confounded Cook said...

I miss you too, Princess and fellow Mafia Wars survivor.

Kristy said...

I have no idea what you just said but the clock is really cool LOL!

Confounded Cook said...

Just smile pretty and wave, dear.

Romantic Dinner said...

Lovely Its recipe and beautiful your party . Cool your idea!!

Romantisch Hotel Bruges said...

great story thanks for the posting I really impress and happy to after read this story.

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