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  • Writer's pictureChoo Choo

Where Things Stand

Updated: Feb 9, 2021

How's everyone doing? Are we hanging in there? Surviving? That's pretty much the best we can hope for at this point. If you're one of those people who's using this downtime to be productive and start life-changing non-food-related projects, shut up. Everyone hates you.

Last weekend I baked all the things and we got fat. Then for Passover I made matzah crack and Alison Roman's garlicky braised short ribs and now they're quite possibly my new favorite meat dish ever. It took me a couple years to get onboard the Alison Roman train, but consider me a first-class passenger now, if not a full-fledged conductor.

When I ran out of steam with the cooking and baking and dishes (so many dishes! A Sisyphean battle of scrubbing and wiping and deluding myself that maybe tomorrow will be the day that I finally oil my poor abused cutting boards) and was forced to face the yawning chasm of uncertainty before me, well...let's just say it wasn't great.

The absence of concerts means the absence of concrete musical goals for me to work on, and the absence of practicing just puts me in a generally sour mood. Every time I try to throw myself into a new piece I end up half-learning it and then dropping it because why bother? I wish I could be one of those people who could just practice for their own personal growth, but I'm not that evolved yet. I'm too pragmatic. I need a reason.

Instead, this week I got into a DuoLingo leaderboard battle with some schmo who thought he could dethrone me from my 1st place position in the Amethyst league. The first day of the week we were neck and neck, and then he kept upping the limit, to the point where he was about 500 points ahead of me. I was all ready to accept defeat and finish with a silver medal this week. It's fine, I kept telling myself, this is good for you. You have to learn how to lose. Second place is perfectly adequate.

Then Tuesday night I got a little drunk off the leftover wine I was using in the short ribs and a steely Cabernet-infused resolve washed over me and I spent the next [number redacted because it's incredibly embarrassing] hours determined to crush this guy's spirit. I went from 500 points behind to nearly 1000 points ahead of him and then flopped into bed, smug and nearly sober (that's how long I stayed up), my brain still conjugating random French verbs.

So that's where I'm at. Don't judge. We're all doing the best we can.

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