Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Disaster brownies

I think if I wait until I have Something Important or Something Upbeat to say, I will continue to not blog very often.

So instead I will talk about the cookbook I recently threw out.

Many years ago I got my mom a cookbook with a charming title about how sugar-filled and butter-packed its contents were. And recently it came back to me when Mom was cleaning out her cookbooks and gave me an overflowing bag of them. Many were utter doozies (fundraising collections, heavy on mayonnaise-based cuisine), but this one was funny to read and the baked goods sounded delish.

So one evening last week I tried to make Congo Bars, basically a chocolate chip blondie, and they were a total disaster. There was a center portion that looked and tasted all right but it was surrounded by a moat of scary-looking goo that had to be chiseled out of the pan. You could see that the batter had bubbled to the very top of the pan and could easily have spilled over. My oven rack had not been centered, and I figured they must have gotten too hot.

Not twelve hours later, with the rack properly adjusted, I opened the oven to find...exactly the same thing. I was chagrined. I asked Mom if she remembered the cookbook, and she said, "Um, I think there might have been a reason it was in the giveaway pile." As in, she probably hadn't had any luck either. So I dumped the cookbook in the kitchen trash, along with most of the contents of the brownie pan.

Last night I got some Good Chocolate bars so I can make World Peace Cookies if I wanna.

My yoga teacher and probably closest friend here is moving away, and I need to find something to do exercise-wise or my new clothes aren't going to fit. I suppose I could just walk around my neighborhood but depending on the time of day, I have to beware blistering sunlight or swarms of insects. It's hard to get a good pace going to NPR. I don't have an iPod, so I wear one of those headphone radio contraptions, and as ridiculous as that probably looks, I'd feel even sillier lugging around a Discman. I might as well strap an Atari console to my back.

What is really bothering me: A couple weeks ago I had an appointment to meet with an attorney, mostly to get advice about what to do for my pro bono client. This attorney works with my therapist, who had mentioned me to her and recommended that we meet.

It was less than helpful. Mostly, she just did not have time to meet with me. She took a phone call right after we sat down, and then we spoke a bit, and then suddenly she urgently had to take her paralegals out to lunch. I'm sure she didn't mean to be dismissive or discouraging. Honestly, it's the same problem I bump into over and over again: Almost nobody, particularly practicing lawyers, can get their brain around an unemployed lawyer. People just cannot believe it. My existence messes with their heads. This is precisely why I don't go to local bar meetings. I have not found a way to describe my situation--faraway law school, extended struggle with bar exam, finally licensed, can't find job--in a way that makes people understand it and react with any sort of warmth or empathy. People react with utter incredulity and I have no idea how to respond.

If anything, meeting this lady--who just happens to look like a dang supermodel--made me feel even more awkward and incompetent, and even less equipped to deal. I'd spent the previous week applying for an internship in public-interest law, for law students and licensed attorneys, and had written all these essays about my much-vaunted experience, and how I'd gone to law school to Help People, and was finally feeling sorta motivated again...and now I'm back to wondering why I bothered applying, because I haven't heard anything yet and I'm not sure they're even going to consider me.

My part-time job, at the Day Spa for Overly Entitled Women and Occasionally Their Spouses, is...probably best not discussed here. Sigh.

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