I'm going to step away from food for a while and take on something "useful". The list today is...
Three Skills I (Really) Wish I Had.
This is one of those lists where I could come up with thirty things instead of the three that I've stupidly limited myself to, so I'm going to try to limit it to skills I've envied for a long time, not just this week. That should cut it down to twenty-eight. I may seriously have to rethink this three thing. I'm just too long-winded.
#1. Home Handywork. Sure this is prompted by the fact that I live in a 120 year old money pit, but it is still a skill I've always wanted. I want to learn all the non-heavy construction aspects of it - that is to say I'd like to know how to refinish a floor but don't necessarily need to know how to pour a foundation. For that I'd just need a checkbook, a box of tissues and my second born child. He's much more barterable than my first. Some of my specifics within this broad scope would be laying tile, simple plumbing and easy woodworking skills. Usually, if I'm shown how to do something I can manage it from there. Witness my newly acquired PhD. in plaster patching and advanced sanding. (All right, all right, I can hear the Film Geek now. I didn't actually do any of the sanding - because he didn't trust me with it - but I watched. And I bet I could. In a pinch).
#2. Linguistics. I would love to be fluent in more than one language, and sadly for me sarcasm doesn't count. Nine years of French in school and several years of working in restaurants in LA have given me very basic skills, but not nearly enough. I can tell when an irate line cook is calling me a fat slow moving air-headed whore in Spanish, but I'm not sure how that would really help me in the real world. It never helped me then, either. I just moved slower and stupider out of pure spite. (Like I've said earlier, I was the worst waitress ever to pick up a tray). The language thing is such a lure, though. My room-mate in college was German and could speak seven languages fluently. She usually translated the restaurant Spanish for me, chuckling all the while. My father spoke two languages and learned English as an adult. It's odd about that. My dad liked to talk to me in his language and when we moved to California the state even certified me as bilingual, but I lost it growing up. I could pick up words and some context, but not much else. But several years ago my dad died and I went back to Michigan for his funeral.While I was there one of my aunts pointed out that people would speak to me in their language and I would answer them properly - in English. I didn't even realize I was doing it, so I guess it's still there. Buried. Somewhere.
#3. Surfing. I would give anything to learn how to surf. All my mis-spent youth at beaches in Santa Monica, Zuma and Laguna and I still can't surf. With a board, anyway. I think it's a pre-requisite to graduate High School that you can body surf, but I've never hung ten (or any factor of) off of a real surf board. I used to be a pretty good body surfer (and have the screaming vertabre to prove it), so I have had that feeling of being in a wave hurtling forward toward the sand at a million miles an hour. And it's fabulous. I like boogie boards, where you also get that rush, although it's been years since I've really been on one. But I want to really surf. I noticed a while ago that there's a camp for women in Mexico that has "chick lessons" in surfing. It's a three or four day camp that includes surfing, bonding and cervesa. (See, I'm already working on #2). Wouldn't that be a blast?
All right, there you have it. As usual I'm encouraging all of you to send in your lists too. I think it's so much fun to see what other people think...